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Muted response

August 30, 2006

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By Ellen Tordesillas

My cousins, the Orendains, have a small beach resort in Guimbal, Iloilo and it is in danger of being ruined by the oil spill coming from MT Solar I that sank in the waters off Guimaras.

My cousin, Dolly O. Escobar, whose daughters, Marla and Carla manage Sunrise Beach (about 30 minutes away from Iloilo City), has been texting everybody last week to pray that the government do something to solve the problems that are endangering lives of people in Guimaras and Negros Occidental.

Dolly said the fumes and smell of oil can already be felt in Guimbal. Needless to say, business is down. With the strong winds and waves, they fear that it’s a matter of time before oil reaches their shores. To prevent that, the people in Guimbal are making booms containing feathers and hair to prevent the oil from reaching their shores.

Those are community efforts to alleviate the damage. There is the bigger task of cleaning up which should be the responsibility of the Petron, 40 percent owned by the government, and Sunshine Maritime Development Corporation.

A class suit by the affected communities of Iloilo should be pushed through to compel Petron and Sunshine Maritime to accept responsibility for the damage.

So far, the actuations of the government, Petron and Sunshine Maritime have been infuriating.

(Click Malaya for the full column, Aug. 30, 2006.)

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