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Mayor scores sundry plans on oil cleanup

September 14, 2006

LOCAL officials in the island province of Guimaras, central Philippines, have suspended clean-up work in the area covered by a massive oil spill, on account of inadequate safety equipment, yet also rushed the relocation of about 100 affected families.

Mayor Diosdado Gonzaga of Nueva Valencia town disclosed this Wednesday and scored national government officials for announcing sundry clean-up plans but taking little effort to implement the same.

“Starting Tuesday we have stopped laborers from reporting for cleanup work because they lack protective gear,” Gonzaga said, adding that the local government will just have to sustain the residents who would go without pay with rice and sardines.

Gonzaga told radio dzXL that it was now up to Petron Corp., which owns the oil cargo “to meet the requirements.”

Petron, a publicly listed company that is 30 percent owned by the Philippine government, had failed to make good on its promise to provide clean-up workers protective gloves, masks and boots, the mayor averred.

(For the full story, click Sundry plans, Sept. 13, 2006.)

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