PCG sues energy company over Iloilo oil spill

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020   •   212

The Philippine Coast Guard has filed a complaint against AC Energy, Inc. and its executives for the oil spill in Iloilo City last July 3.

The PCG filed the complaint at the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office for violation of Section 107 of Republic Act 8550 or the Fisheries Code.

Based on the initial investigation of the PCG, they saw sufficient evidence to prove the negligence of the thermal energy firm.

If proven guilty, there will be an initial fine of P300,000 or up to P500,000 for damage. The company might also face suspension or closure.

“The PCG, as a law enforcement body in marine environmental protection, will ensure that the failure of one company serves as a relevant lesson to others. We need everyone’s cooperation to protect and conserve our limited marine resources,” said PCG Commandant Vice-Admiral George V. Ursabia Jr.

The Iloilo oil spill caused contamination in some coastal areas in the city and 23 affected communities. Around 400 families were displaced and marine organisms were damaged.

READ: Mangrove trees likely to die due to oil spill in Iloilo, expert says

Meanwhile, authorities continue the cleanup operation where 90% of the spilled oil was already recovered. –AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

No casualty in MV Moreta fire off Marikaban Island, Batangas — PCG

Marje Pelayo   •   July 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) immediately dispatched BRP Boracay to help in the fire incident involving a Philippine-registered cargo vessel, MV Moreta Venture southwest off Marikaban Island in Batangas  around 4:53 a.m. Monday (July 20).

Commodore Leovigildo Panopio of the PCG-Southern Tagalog reported that there was no casualty in the incident.

The fire was immediately contained and declared fire out at around 8:00 a.m.

BRP Boracay (FPB-2401) was berthed in Sta. Clara, Batangas City when the PCG Command Center received a distress call from said cargo vessel.

Said cargo vessel, which is now dead on the water and drifting, will be towed to the nearest port for safety. 

The PCG is now coordinating with the nearest tugboat in the vicinity waters for assistance.

Iloilo mayor bemoans sad state of oil spill evacuees in shelters

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 9, 2020

A total of 336 evacuees from the oil spill in Iloilo on July 3 are crammed in five evacuation centers with no physical distancing, limited beds, and delayed food relief.

Some of the children and the elderly had no choice but to sleep on the floor.

There were also no kitchen facilities installed in the evacuation centers.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas expressed his disappointment with AC Energy Corporation for handling the situation poorly.

“I am utterly disappointed sa inihanda ng kanilang kumpanya (I am utterly disappointed with what the company has prepared). They promised me they will take care of all the evacuees and yet hindi nakahanda ang ginawa nila, (they were ill-prepared),” he said during his inspection in the evacuation centers on Thursday (July 7).

The mayor said it is the company’s obligation to provide the appropriate assistance to the residents and fix their current situation.

Meanwhile, the AC Energy Corporation, the owner of the power barge that was damaged due to the explosion, still has not commented on the matter. –AAC (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)

Mangrove trees likely to die due to oil spill in Iloilo, expert says

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 6, 2020

The mangrove trees affected by the oil spill in Iloilo on Friday (July 3) might die in three months if no action is done, according to University of the Philippines Visayas Professor Dr. Rez Sadaba.

“Ang mga saplings at seedlings sensitive sila, so most likely, mamamatay iyan sila kapag natabunan ng oil spill (The saplings and seedlings are sensitive, so most likely, they will die if covered in oil spill),” he said.

Mangrove trees are known for storing more carbon compared to other trees, which is valuable in the fight against global warming.

Aside from being a breeding ground for several marine life, mangrove trees are also good defenders during storm surges and serve as effective infiltration systems for agriculture.

Over 200,000 liters of oil spilled out from a bunker fuel that exploded in Barangay Barrio Obrero, in Iloilo City. The incident has affected 25 coastal barangays and families were already evacuated.

Meanwhile, authorities already collected over 170,000 liters of oil. They also reported, no marine animals were harmed due to the incident.

Sadaba said the plant life in the area affected by the oil spill would need help unlike other fishes that can swim away once the oil reaches their smell.

To help protect the mangrove trees, Sadaba recommended using dispersants for the oil spill not to reach the shoreline.

“I doubt that they can do that within two weeks unless they apply the dispersants,” he said.

The owner of the power barge, AC Energy Philippines, deployed several of their personnel to assist authorities in the oil spill clean up. —AAC (with reports from Lalaine Moreno)


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