By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Two high-ranking officials of Pasig’s City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) have been suspended following the discovery of a “suspicious trend” in the enforcement of environmental laws, Mayor Vico Sotto said Wednesday.
“This comes after I led the spot inspections of several establishments that are dumping wastewater into our drainages. We have discovered a suspicious trend in our CENRO,” Sotto said in a Facebook post-Wednesday.
“Multiple inspectors have reported that they are routinely told to look the other way [around] after they find environmental violations,” he said.
Sotto, who authored Ordinance No. 37 or the “Pasig Transparency Mechanism Ordinance” – the first-ever transparency ordinance in Metro Manila, did not identify the officials.
“I think better if we avoid their trial by publicity and grant them due process,” Sotto said in a text message when asked to identify the two CENRO officials.
“The admin proceedings will take a few weeks and the results will be [made] public,” he said.
Sotto said the officials were suspended without pay pending the investigation on the alleged irregularities in CENRO.
It was recalled that last October 8 Sotto ordered the closure of a meat processing plant in Barangay Bagong Ilog following a surprise inspection of the facility.
Sotto said the plant had no sewage treatment facility, and it disposed its wastewater and even pig’s blood into the city’s drainages as well as on the street.
“If we want to clean our rivers, we need to be able to enforce environmental laws without fear or favor… without bribes and protectors,” Sotto said.