The cancellation of the swimming leg of 5150 Triathlon Davao may shed a negative image on the city in hosting future triathlon events, Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte said.
“I wouldn’t lie about it. There will really be detrimental effects to these kinds of activities. But we will find a way,” Duterte said during the Sangguniang Panlungsod media briefing last Wednesday.
Data of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) on the level of coliform in Davao Gulf, as previously published in this paper, showed the presence of high coliform in the city’s waters.
In a sampling station in Davao River, the coliform amounted to 16-million MPN (most probable number) per 100 liters compared to the standard of standard of 200 MPN per 100 liters.
Coliforms are ‘bacteria that are always present in the digestive tracts of animals, including humans, and are found in their wastes. They are also found in plant and soil material.” (www.health/ny/gov)
In the recent triathlon spearheaded by a restaurant that gathered international and local participants, the organizers decided to cancel the swim leg after health officials found that the water is not currently suitable for recreational use based on the comprehensive water testing conducted.
The city was given recognition in hosting another huge international triathlon event.
It was named as the Best Ironman Host of the organizers of the Alveo 70.3 Ironman, an event the city hosted twice already since last year.
Duterte, despite the negative effects the cancellation may bring, said the decision of the organizers was right.
“It was just right that they canceled the event because the participants were at risk. So, we can’t blame them because it will cause more problems had they pursued it,” he added.
Duterte added that the city may find another area for the swimming course to prevent similar incidents in the future.
“We can reroute to another possible swimming track because I believe not all areas of Davao Gulf is contaminated,” he said. Duterte added that among the agenda he will give focus on is the environment. He however did not comment on what he planned to do to solve the presence of coliform in the gulf.
“Among my priorities, as you heard in our rallies for the HNP, are health and environment,” he said.