US contractor questions collection of waste samples in Subic

Posted at 11/14/2012 12:02 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Retired Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Mateo Mayuga, who heads a firm under the employ of the United States, questioned the samples and procedures done in testing the waters of Subic Bay for hazardous waste.

The chief executive of Glenn Defense Marine Philippines Inc. alleged the samples taken by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authorities on October 15 were only from the surface. Samples should be taken mid-way down the depth of the sea in order for the tests to be accurate, he said.

Para bang sa kusina, naglagay ka ng tabo, halo-halo dun kapag kukuha ka sa ibabaw. Iba yun kaysa sa gitna,” he said. He likened the testing to urinalysis, whereby samples should be taken midstream.

He also alleged that the persons who tested the Subic Bay water for toxicity were not authorized.

“I’m a bit alarmed as to how the sample was handled,” he said.

The ecology center of the SBMA inspected on October 15 the MT Glenn Guardian, a tanker owned by Glenn Defense.

News reports said Edilberto Acedilla, captain of Glenn Guardian, allegedly revealed during the spot inspection that they were carrying around 50,000 gallons of domestic waste and around 200 gallons of bilge water (a combination of water, oil, and grease), all of which were hauled from a US Navy ship.

On Monday, officials of the SBMA said there was actually no toxic waste dumped in the waters of Subic Bay as implied in several reports.

Mayuga lamented that his company is being unfairly criticized. “I, as a Filipino…I won't even allow our waters to be put in danger…I won't allow the violation of our environment.”

He added: “It pains me to be accused of dirtying our own backyard.”

SBMA chairman Roberto Garcia also clarified that Glenn Defense dumped the waste “in high seas 17 nautical miles from the nearest land point.” This means the waste was never dumped in waters under Philippine jurisdiction. - ANC