The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 has discovered PVC pipes containing electrical wires beneath land along the Alona Beach in Panglao, debunking its own previous suspicion that there were underground conduits in the area which were “discreetly” pumping out wastewater into the sea.
While the EMB called the development a “false alarm,” the Municipal Engineering Office (MEO) in Panglao deemed the presence of underground electrical wires a hazard to the public.
“Hazardous g’yud na siya, labina kay live wire na siya. Di man gud ta kahatag og oras na di na siya mabuak or naay leak,” said Panglao Municipal Engineer Rogelio Bunao.
According to Bunao, the pipes need to be removed to avert accidents such as electrocution.
“Matud ni [EMB 7] Director William Cuñado na naa tinuod gi-butang na mga pipe pero dili sanitary, eletrcial conduit. Pero delikado g’yud gihapon na siya not unless na i-remove. Dili kay electrical conduit ra na siya, then pasagdan ra. Among advice, as far as safety is concerned, ato gyud ng kuhaon,” Bunao said.
Resorts and other establishments which have allegedly installed underground electrical wires have not coordinated with the MEO.
“Wala g’yud na siya [coordination] kay di man na allowed ng underground pipe labina kay electric. Wa na siya gi-allow,” Bunao said.
The municipal government led by the MEO is set to inspect and identify the resorts which have underground, pipe-enclosed wires next week, he added.
Bunao speculated that the underground wires were used to transmit power to lights along the shore.
Earlier, Cuñado admitted that several PVC pipes were discovered along the Alona coastline but did not specify which areas and establishments.
“False alarm. Ang mga sud sa PVC mga wiring so dili ingon na ang sud agianan sa wastewater. So mura’g na clear nato diha na walay pipelines na gigamit para sa passage sa atong mga wastewater,” said Cuñado.
The pipes were discovered by the EMB after the agency conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) investigation in December last year “in support of DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu’s program of ensuring pollution-free sea water in tourist destinations.”
“GPR equipment of the MGB Central Office that was used during the survey is able to locate buried utilities such as pipes or subsurface features such as cavities, continuity of soil layers and rock masses,” said that EMB 7 in an earlier report. “The team found high possibility of buried utilities that maybe discreetly disposing wastewater. Relative thereto, the team recommended ground validation through excavation of high target sites.” (A. Doydora)