01 April 2016

Taiwan firm fined P13M for environment damage (INQ Report)

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT— For inflicting “massive” damage to the environment on a lot it has been leasing inside the free port, a Taiwanese warehousing firm was ordered to pay a fine of P13 million, according to an official of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

MSK Group Work Inc., which is engaged in building construction and civil engineering, was served a new notice of violation (NOV) with fines and penalties for its “unauthorized tree cutting, earth moving and land development activities,” said lawyer Ruel John Kabigting, acting head of the SBMA Ecology Center.

Photo shows Taiwanese firm MSK Group Work Inc. at the Subic Bay Gateway Park engaging in construction 
and civil engineering without the proper environmental clearances. (Allan Macatuno / Inquirer Central Luzon)
The company had failed to secure environmental clearances when it cut 60 large trees and about 7,000 smaller trees in a 1,200-square-meter leased area at the Subic Bay Gateway Park, Kabigting said.

MSK had been clearing the area to build a warehouse, but it had not obtained the necessary permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), SBMA Chair Roberto Garcia said in an earlier interview.

Garcia said the development activities weakened a slope.

On March 11, Kabigting directed the company to stop its work following a hazard call inspection concerning its lot. He issued a cease-and-desist order (CDO) addressed to Kelly Uy, MSK general manager, which also required the firm to replace the fallen trees with 1,752 saplings worth P86,250. (Allan Macatuno, Inquirer Central Luzon)