Residents of Puerto Galera and Oriental Mindoro Province have activated their Social Media “voices” to tell local government about a growing concern towards the location of a sanitary waste, landfill facility.
According to a Board member of Puerto Galera Business and Tourism Enterprises Association Inc. ( PGBTEA ), the Sangguniang Bayan (local council) of Puerto Galera has failed to fully consider implications of ground water from the domestic waste dump, leaching toxins into the adjoining natural rainfall catchment basin.
A river flowing from below the dump reaches the Tamaraw Water Falls, a popular tourist attraction in the region where both local and international visitors bathe to refresh during the summer months. Recent Google Earth images depict the site and lay validity to concerns of the local “netizen” residents’.
Comments, pictures and video’s depicting the ongoing dump site construction, the river and waterfalls have recently appeared on the highly active Facebook groups called “I Love Puerto Galera” and “Balitang Puerto“. A Youtube video entitled “Puerto Galera Lapantay and the Tamaraw Falls“, which features the voice of an indigenous Mangyan man appealing for attention to the livelihood and land rights of his tribe stirred debate on the social media sites among present and past residents of the town.
Concerns about declining conditions of the natural environment within Puerto Galera have surfaced in national media during the administration of Chief Executive Mayor Hubbert Dolor, with one national television station segment, named “Failon Ngayon“, (also available for viewing on Youtube) focusing on unabated sewerage contamination of the 1977 UNESCO declared Biosphere Reserve.
The local and provincial governments have yet to make any public comment in response to the Youtube video allegations about “Land Grabbing of Mangyan Land, Destruction of Tamaraw Falls and Graft and Corruption”, which was recently published on March 18th, 2015.
Part 2 of the Mangyan officials point of view continues in this Youtube video, published March 23, 2015.
To follow or participate with this story as events unfold, please join the Puerto Galera facebook groups (linked above). https://youtu.be/zr4CZOcn034