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DENR seeks proper way of cleaning up oil mess

September 8, 2006

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By Hazel P. Villa

ILOILO CITY – The regional Department of Environment and Natural Resources sounded the alarm for the proper treatment of oil-smeared mangroves after “an unidentified clean-up force” was seen cutting the roots and branches of the trees in two villages of Nueva Valencia,
Guimaras.

Cutting their roots and branches “is harmful to the mangrove trees because it will open (these) to further infection and will affect salt balance that will ultimately cause the death of mangroves,” said Julian D. Amador, environment regional executive director.

Amador, in a statement, quoted the DENR mangrove survey team that reported an unidentified clean-up force cutting the prop roots of several mangrove species in the villages of Lucmayan and Cabalagnan this week in worst-hit Nueva Valencia.

Petron Corp., which contracted the MT Solar I that was carrying 2.1 million liters of bunker fuel oil when it sank off Guimaras on August 11, has hired more than 1,000 residents who are paid 300 pesos a day for clean-up operations.

The prop roots contain lenticels, which are the breathing organs of the Bakauan (Rhizophora) species.

(For the full story, click Cleaning up, Sept. 7, 2006. Illustration courtesy anjuli.)

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