Gov. Edgar M. Chatto asked Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Central Visayas Regional Director Dir. William Cunado to explain data released by the agency during the meeting with four Cabinet Members that included Environment Sec. Roy Cimatu, Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, DILG Sec. Eduardo Año and Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Ernie Pernia. EMB7 reported a spike in fecal coliform level count to 16,000 in October 2018. This was significantly higher than previous months’ data gathered in the same sample areas.
The reported 16,000 fecal coliform level in Panglao waters had prompted the declaration of Tourism Sec. Puyat that some areas in Panglao are not fit for swimming.
However, previous tests done and the most recent validation test conducted last November 27 showed much lower coliform count level.
The November 27 data showed that fecal coliform count was at 33, a big drop from the reported 16,000 fecal coliform level.
In a letter sent to Dir. Cuñado and copy furnished to Panglao Mayor Nila Montero, Chatto recommended weekly monitoring of samples jointly gathered by EMB7, the Provincial Government through the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) and LGU Panglao.
The governor said EMB7 must be able to establish data and investigate the cause of such figures.
On November 27, fecal coliform level water analysis test (MPN/100mL) of Panglao beaches registered at 33 in Tawala 1. Tawala 2 was also at 33.
The results also showed Bolod 1 fecal coliform level from 540 to 23(Passed). Bolod 2 from 94 to 23(Passed); Doljo 1 from 240 to 49(Passed).
While some areas registered failing marks as in Doljo 2 from 240 to 240(Failed); Danao 1 from 350 to 33(Passed); Danao 2 from 920 to 350(Failed); Danao 3 from 97 to 350(Failed), the fecal coliform level were still considerably lower than the reported 16,000 MPN/100mL.
Gov. Chatto’s recommendation for the joint team of EMB7, Provincial Government and LGU Panglao for a weekly monitoring seeks to clear DOT announcement that Panglao water is not safe for swimming.
While the investigation is ongoing on the figures reported, Tourism Sec. Puyat gave her commitment to work closely with the governor in making sure that Bohol continues to attract tourists and at the same time ensure sustainability.
Chatto reminds with Bohol’s sustainable development in mind, everyone must take part through compliance to environmental laws, rules and regulations.