DAGUPAN CITY — An overcrowded Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Barangay Bonuan Gueset here has been tagged as the main culprit behind the continuous environmental pollution in the Lingayen Gulf.

The finding was based on the the result of an inspection conducted by Edward Vergara, senior environmental specialist of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), at the BJMP facility in November last year.

Vergara noted that the facility has a capacity of only 250 persons but presently, it is housing 800 inmates.

“Due to overcrowding of the facility, to include the inmates, visitors, employees of BJMP, the facility’s septic tank is no longer capable of holding the waste and waste water of the entire facility,” said Vergara.

The BJMP facility is located 100 meters away from the shoreline of the Bonuan Tondaligan Beach.

The tourists and residents are complaining about air and water pollution coming from the BJMP facility.

Vergara said similar complaint has been addressed in 2008 by expanding the septic tank “but right now it cannot be done anymore.”

“BJMP authorities attested that the septic tank was already expanded to its maximum width and length virtually covering the whole area of the facility”, Vergara said.

To solve the problem, Vergara said they recommended to the BJMP to conduct regular siphoning and planting trees around the area.

“We will monitor BJMP’s compliance or else we will be forced to ask the facility to secure a wastes water permit,” said Vergara.

“BJMP said they have no budget to bankroll the regular siphoning of wastes from their septic tanks but may be can ask financial help from the local government,” he added. PNA/northboundasia.com