By Danlor Champ Hidalgo
OFFICIAL indifference and negligence of the environment is finally taking its toll on Dagupan City’s tourism industry and if it continues its fishery industry may likewise soon be affected.
The stench from the waste water exiting from the Dagupan City District Jail to the Bonuan Blue Beach has worsened prompting residents of Barangay Bonuan Gueset to reiterate their complaints.
The malodor is believed to be a result of the both the defective design and construction of the district jail’s septic tank. Residents complained that stench has already become unbearable day and night and expressed fear the health of the community is now at risk.
The flow of waste water from the district jail to the beach was already detected during the Lim administration but the city government to this day has failed to address the sanitation and pollution issues raised early on.
The residents also noted a marked decline in the number of visitors to Tondaligan Park despite recent physical improvements made in the park and they believe that the stench and pollution in the area have a lot to do with it.
The stall owners shared the residents fears that unless the city government acts quickly on the problem, the number of visitors will continue to dwindle.
Acting City Mayor Belen Fernandez said she will convene a meeting to be attended by officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and other concerned government agencies to agree on measures to be adopted to address the problems.
She said the city government can offer to help construct a new septic tank if the BJMP does not have enough resources to correct the situation.
Fernandez expressed the view the district jail should not have been placed near the seashore and inside the Tondaligan Park in the first place.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources also expressed alarm over the worsening pollution of the Lingayen Gulf and warned that this impacts directly on fisheries in Dagupan City and Pangasinan.
Westly Rosario, chief of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center and concurrent executive director of the National Fisheries Research Institute, has mobilized his personnel to regularly monitor the quality of the water at the back of district jail.
He has ordered an immediate water sampling for laboratory analysis to determine the level of coli form in the water.