Who should be blamed for the toxic waste disaster in Bulacan?

I just read the following story from Inq7.net:

 

 

Toxic waste dumped in Bulacan; 60 hospitalized

 

By Carmela Reyes
Inquirer
Last updated 04:17am (Mla time) 11/29/2006

 

Published on Page A1 of the November 29, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

MARILAO, Bulacan — Farmer Carlos Clemente, 67, was awakened at 2 a.m. Tuesday by the rumbling of a truck leaving his farm. Minutes later, he and other residents of Barangay Prenza II and nearby villages were assailed by the stench of a chemical the truck had dumped in the area.

 

Some of them vomited, others almost fainted.

 

Before the morning was over, 60 people had been hospitalized, stricken with dizziness, nausea and chest pains, hundreds of others had fled their homes — and the driver of the 10-wheeler tanker and his two helpers were held in police custody.

 

Read the full story here.

 

This is horrifying. So many of those affected were children. What makes it more appaling is that it is really such a commonplace occurrence – how many times do we actually see garbage trucks dumping wastes, toxic and non-toxic, into our rivers? (FYI, I lived in Tondo for several years, so I definitely know what I’m talking about.)

 

Are we so out of touch, so backward, that we absolutely have no concern for environmental issues affecting this planet? Sure, let’s blame the truck drivers for their ignorance and stupidity, blame the middleman who supposedly instructed them to do it, heck, blame even the DENR; but most of all, let’s blame the source! It originated from the factory, and from my view, this incident shows its obvious lack of management concerning proper waste disposal. What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is another glaring example of how Filipinos blatantly abuse nature for profit. Dumping wastes into the river is so much easier, so much cheaper than rigorously adhering to proper waste disposal techniques. Tapon nyo na lang dyan. Bahala na. When disaster strikes, the blame game begins. Do we hear anyone ever accepting responsibilities for disasters like these?

 

 

Towards the end of the article, it was written:

 

“…said a team from the Environmental Management Bureau of the DENR had taken samples of chemicals for tests and results would be available after three days.” (Italics are mine.)

 

That long? Now, wouldn’t it be faster if they just ask the management of the factory about the nature of those chemicals? Mahirap ba yun?

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