Subic Bay remains safe and clean,says SBMA, but suspends Glenn Defense

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia

To put things in proper perspective, the SBMA Board of Directors recently issued the following statement: For the information of the public, and in the interest of truth and fairness, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority wishes to clarify and emphasize the following points contrary to some very damaging reports which have recently appeared in media.

1. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT TOXIC, HAZARDOUS OR DOMESTIC WASTE HAVE BEEN DUMPED IN THE WATERS OF SUBIC BAY.The ship sewage, which is domestic waste, was discharged by service contractor Glenn Defense Marine in the West Philippine Sea far away from Subic Bay. The distance is approximately 32 kilometers from land in the high seas and well beyond the 22-kilometer minimum limit set for the allowable discharge of such sewage by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships (MARPOL). The Philippines is a signatory to this Convention.

2. As directed by the Senate, the SBMA continues to coordinate with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the final determination of violations by Glenn Defense Marine relating to the absence of permits, the manner of discharge and other possible violations of Philippine environmental laws. Subsequently, the imposition of necessary sanctions and penalties will be applied.

3. To prevent this incident from happening again, as of November 17, SBMA has temporarily suspended Glenn Defense Marine’s operation with regard to the collection and disposal of ship sewage in the sea using sea vessels. This applies to all other waste service contractors as well. After securing the necessary permits as is presently required from SBMA for land based disposal of sewage, all such sewage are to be collected directly from the ship at the pier and transported by accredited land-based haulers to be treated in accredited water treatment plants.SBMA stands by its mandate to preserve and protect the good environment of Subic Bay.

We assure the public the waters of Subic Bay remain clean and safe.

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