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Cost of Guimaras oil spill

September 4, 2006

BUNKER fuel oil oozing from a sunken tanker off Guimaras Island has affected large swaths of Western Visayas, making it the biggest oil spill in the country.

To the poor dependent on the sea for their livelihood, the spill has brought economic disaster. Women have stopped gathering shells while men have not gone out fishing in the badly hit areas of Guimaras. The oil spill has also brought sickness to residents.

Damage to the environment goes beyond the hundreds of hectares of marine reserve and mangroves, and kilometer upon kilometer of shoreline smothered with black sludge.

The spill has killed wildlife like birds, turtles and sea snakes. It now threatens dugongs, dolphins, blue crabs, giant clams and other life forms in the Guimaras Strait and Visayan Sea.

100 km to 220 km Tainted coastline

1,100 ha Spoiled marine reserve

454 ha Mangroves smothered with oil

26,000 People affected in Guimaras

136 Families (400 residents) evacuated from the villages of La Paz and Cabalagnan in Nueva Valencia town, Guimaras (as of Aug. 29)

3 and 4 Towns affected in Guimaras and Iloilo, respectively

10,000 Fisher folk bereft of daily income totaling between P3 million and P5 million

P57 million Worth of destroyed marine resources in fish cages and fish pens, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

P50 million Losses in shrimp industry in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental

P50 million Losses in anchovy industry in Valladolid, Negros Occidental

P3.57 million Foregone revenue from tourism in Guimaras from Aug. 11 to Aug. 27

(Click PDI research for the rest of the piece, Sept. 3, 2006.)

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