The JUPITER Submarine Cable Project – Philippine Segment is led by PLDT Inc. The submarine cable traverses the Pacific Ocean and municipal waters of Daet and Mercedes, Camarines Norte. It was developed to meet rising data traffic demands as well as the connectivity needs of the Philippines. The project helped increase PLDT’s international cabling capacity and reinforced the resiliency of its undersea fiber links to the United States and Japan.
Aperçu Consultants was tasked with preparing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of the JUPITER Project. As part of the preparation of the EIS, Aperçu Consultants engaged in the following activities:
Marine Water Quality
The physico-chemical parameters assessed were: temperature, pH, turbidity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, oil and grease, total coliform, and fecal coliform. Results from the in-situ measurements and laboratory analyses of the water samples served as a baseline of the marine environment and were compared to the DAO 2016-08 standards. The assessment was done to determine potential impacts and guide management and mitigation plans.
A baseline review and assessment of the nature and current state of the marine environment was done to identify significant habitats that may be susceptible or potentially impaired by the JUPITER Project. This was done through: assessing coral reefs, mangrove forests, and seagrass beds; employing a fish visual census to estimate species composition and distribution of reef fish; characterizing plankton communities, marine biotoxins, macro-invertebrates, and benthic communities; and determining dominant fishery resources and practices.
Air and Noise Module
Meteorological conditions were assessed to determine the possible sources of air pollution during the construction and installation phase of the project. Rainfall, temperature, surface winds, and tropical cyclones were assessed because these parameters are relevant to the evaluation of air pollution impacts during the construction and installation phase of the project.
The levels of total suspended particulates (TSP) were measured to provide a baseline for the ambient air quality of the coastal area in Barangay Bagasbas. A mitigation, enhancement, and monitoring plan was provided in order to ensure the project continually complies with the Clean Air Act Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Existing ambient noise levels were assessed to serve as a baseline and point of comparison with the noise impacts during the burial of the submarine cables in the nearshore areas. Despite the low impact of the project on the ambient noise, noise barriers were deployed as a precautionary measure.
The socio-economic situation of the host community, Municipality of Daet and Barangay Bagasbas, was assessed in order to see the impacts of the project on the daily lives of the residents and to understand the community’s perception of the project. Household surveys, focus group discussions, and information communication education (IEC) activities were done in order to ensure complete transparency between PLDT and the community. This also helped clarify any misconceptions the community had regarding the project.
The Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the project was issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on September 2019 with ECC Reference No. ECC-R05-1908-0056.
A copy of the Environmental Impact Statement is available at the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) website at the following link.