Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto, such a hard working man (if we base our observations from news reports outside Capitol), was reportedly rushed to a hospital last week for possible exhaustion.
The governor was gracing a ground breaking of another big-ticket resort project in Panglao, before he was whisked to the hospital and air lifted to Manila.
It happened a day after he was reportedly hyper-ventilating and fuming mad over what a national paper insinuated: that the waters off the tourism crown jewel is among the cesspools President Rodrigo Duterte described for Boracay.
The broadsheet also effectively affixed the cesspool tag for Panglao, its colliform count was over the tolerable levels, despite its being lower than Mactan in Cebu, or Boracay.
As quoted, DENR Environment Management Bureau head William Cuñado citing the bureau’s recent study, showed that the dirt in Panglao waters is 50 units above safe levels for swimming. The news also said Mactan and Boracay are much worse.
So what spoils the waters in Panglao?
Recent inspections leaked to us showed that over 300 resorts in Panglao have been served notices of violations to the Clean Water Act. Simply said, these resorts drain their waste water, not in the required three chamber sewage tanks but elsewhere. Some, like a popular resort has a “storm drain,” oozing into the beach, even if there are no rains.
Also contributing to the problem are resorts building structures well within the 20-25 meters easement zones, the area in a beach that is by law, designated for free public access.
If these resorts are mushrooming within these areas, what are the chances their wastewater are also conveniently using the rising and ebbing tide to mask their stench?
Now, the governor, who has been among the development oriented teams pointing us Bohol’s development direction, who is also admittedly the among the staunchest environment-advocate, if not the most, must already know this.
As governor and also self-admitting as the most well-travelled among Boholanos, it would be naive to believe he did not see these environmental violations in Panglao.
Coming in to the end line of his last term, the Governor should have shown his univocal resolve to solve Panglao and the abased coastal waters elsewhere in Bohol. After 8 years, his idealism should have gotten the best in him.
He did not.
That is because, simply because rolling his sleeves and dipping his hands to fix the mess could get him the sludge, and the wastewater issue would potentially smear his political career.
At the expense of the environment, at the expense of his solemn oath, he omitted his duty for his Yuta Kong Minahal.
Even when he would become a lameduck governor, for seven years, he did not show Dagohoy’s courage of defending the land and offering his lawas and kalag.
For wanting to come out always clean, that is the cesspool he has chosen to dip himself into. No amount of press release disinfection can wash that stench he chose to perfume himself.