Governor Erico Aumentado, not given to panic fits, had no choice.
He had to write a frantic letter to DENR Bossman Lito Atienza that the unceremonious opening of the San Jose drainage outfall cascaded "coliform contaminations, toxic and other deleterious pollutants that would imperil the Tagbilaran Bay and Maribojoc Bay marine ecosystem in the long run."
This was based on scientific proof from the water lab test from the imminent University of San Carlos of Cebu, a university renowned for "Chemistry" (the major) proficiency which spotted 2,000 colonies/100 ml (described almost too numerous to count) and revalidated by similar findings from the Provincial Health Department of 2,400 colonies/100 ml.
Aside from that, long outfall usage would pose health and safety problems.
"An environmental disaster waiting for its time to happen" is how Gov. Rico describes the San Jose outfall consequence. Quite apart from that, this destroys the fabled Tourism industry of Bohol because it undoubtedly pollutes Tagbilaran Bay and the famous Panglao resort beach lines fronting the city as well as all the way to Maribojoc Bay.
Certain to be likewise damaged environmentally would be the breakwaters of the Bohol Tropics Resort Club (meters away from the outfall) - the site of many national and international confabs. Just across is the Tagbilaran City Port (a tourist spot by itself) (maybe) soon to display polluted, brownish water if the Engineering Genius behind the San Jose opening is not stopped by the DENR.
With dispatch Atienza commanded two teams from DENR Manila and Cebu to investigate the environmental and tourist hazard. It might also be instructive for Chairman (Solidarity for Asia) Jesus Estanislao, a man of deep probity and integrity, to send a team as well to find out if this city they once dubbed as "Eco-Tourism Cultural Hub" deserves the title.
It is good to have titles - like that of boxer Manny Pacquiao - but not the dubious ones.
The City Mayor promised to construct a drainage outfall simultaneous to the DPWH drainage construction along CPG Avenue. He reneged on his promise. The City Mayor promised to cut the illegal connections after thirty days of voluntary disconnection. He balked on his promise. The City Mayor promised the Governor he will act if the DPWH will "turn over" the drainage project to City Hall. He failed his promise.
Instead he opened the San Jose outfall without permission from DENR and not informing the Governor who he requested for a turnover letter from DPWH.
That is why we have a very "Promising" Mayor in our midst. At least Boom Boom Bautista, the boxer, shows real "promise" despite his recent boxing debacle. Which only proves that the word "promising" in this land has more than just one meaning.
We are confident the DENR will render sound judgment on this issue. Barring that, the environmentalist groups should coordinate with regional and national counter-parts and wage war against this "nutty" game
plan of playing exterminator of our environment and tourism in one sweep.