MANILA — Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto on Tuesday personally ordered the closure of a food company found dumping untreated waste in the city.
Sotto led a surprise inspection of the commissary of the Razon Food Corporation, which is known for its version of halo-halo from Guagua, Pampanga.
Sotto told ABS-CBN that his office received complaints from residents who lived nearby. After receiving a confirmatory report on Tuesday morning, Sotto deviated from his official schedule and went to the company’s commissary where he saw waste pouring straight into the drainage.
The mayor questioned one of the company’s supervisors who admitted that they have been operating there since 2007.
“Wala talaga silang intensyon na sumunod sa batas. Ang problema dito yung paglabag nila sa batas hindi lang sila ang apektado,” Sotto told ABS-CBN News.
(They really have no intention to follow the law. The problem here is that their violation of the law will affect other people.)
The company supervisor, who declined to be interviewed, was informed of the closure order for lack of a sewage treatment plant.
Sotto said the company was polluting waters and causing floods.
"Nagpoprocess sila ng karne, isipin niyo pati dugo ng baboy dumederetso sa drainage ng city. Umaagos ang dugo hindi lang maduming tubig. Saan pumupunta yun? Ultimately pumupunta yun sa ilog,” Sotto told ABS-CBN.
(First, this is about pollution. Second, it’s a source of flooding. They process meat, so you can imagine the blood from pigs flow straight to the city’s drainage. Where does that go? To the Pasig river.)
Sotto also warned against local government employees who will be found guilty of accepting bribes from the company.
“Ang nakakalungkot dito may mga inspektor kami sa loob ng lokal na pamahalaan na pumupunta dito at for ilang years hinahayaan nila,” Sotto said. “Mananagot yung mga empleyado na yun.“
(What is sad is that we have an inspector from the local government who was supposed to be checking this establishment and yet they were allowed to operate.)
Stephano Geduque, a cook who has been working for Razon for two years, said they did not know anything about the violation.
“Sana naman po yung amin magawan ng paraan paano ang substitute na pagkakakitaan namin,” he said.
(We hope they can find a way to give us an alternative source of income.)
Sotto also assured the employees but said that the company needs to comply with the law by setting up a sewage treatment plant. It also needs to pay the fine for its violation.