A private real estate company said to be owned by Marikina Representative Bayani Fernando could end up being sued for its alleged role in contributing to the widespread flooding in the city during the onset of Typhoon Ulysses, causing at least P50 billion in damage to property and lost livelihood opportunities.
Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro claimed in a recent television interview that the reclamation done by the Fernando’s BF Corp. for the artificial embankment of its “BF City” project was responsible for the overflow of the Marikina River which inundated several low-lying portions of the city.
In the first place, Teodoro said the project lacked an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that is required before alterations are implemented in the area.
This, he said, is a violation of Presidential Decree 1586 or the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System.
Rep. Fernando – who ironically had served previously as Marikina mayor and MMDA chairman – denied that BF Corp. was responsible for the reclamation work along the banks of the Marikina River.
He said his firm had no legal liability as the dumping being referred to by Teodoro was done by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a huge road dike project.
In any event, Fernando said Mayor Teodoro is welcome to do any complaint he wishes as this will give him (Fernando) the opportunity to clear up the issue in the proper forum.
But the DPWH countered by saying it does not have any ongoing project along the Marikina River.
DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu, who personally inspected the damage wrought by the overflow of the Marikina River, vowed to look into the Teodoro’s allegation that no ECC was secured for the BF City project.
“Definitely, there should be no reclamation (along the river),” he was quoted in published reports as saying.
(The DENR clarified it had not issued an ECC for the river embankment project of BF Corp. “Per records of the Environmental Management Bureau of the National Capital Region, no issuance has been made,” DENR-NCR regional director Jacqueline Caancan said.)
Teodoro said that the artificial embankment done by BF Corp. had caused severe flooding in several areas during Typhoon Ulysses.
He said a bottleneck effect was created as the Marikina River had become narrower “by as much as 30 meters” which severely impeded the flow of water to Manila Bay.
Teodoro also disclosed that BF Corp. had applied for a permit for a gas station and school inside BF City, but this was denied by City Hall as they also could not produce an ECC.
Photo: GMA Network