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Volunteerism during the oil spill

September 14, 2006

IT may not be very apparent in Guimaras but volunteerism in the cleanup of the Petron oil spill is very much alive with the Save Our Seas (SOS) Movement. Hobby groups, students, community youth, fraternities, sororities, NGOs, government agencies and bank employees are contributing time, efforts and resources to control and minimize the damage of the oil spill.

Empty plastic containers that could be used as floaters of indigenous oil-spill booms are gathered by students of the Philippine American Progress School, Assumption, Hijas de Jesus, Central Philippine University, St. Paul’s University, Iloilo National High School, MTC-St. Therese Colleges and others.

Students of colleges and universities in Iloilo City, Ajuy and Concepcion (polytechnic colleges) have been volunteering in the production of these booms. The UP School of Technology, CPU Appropriate Technology Center and the University of the San Agustin College of Engineering are helping in improving the designs and applications on the ground.

Employees of the Fiber Industry Development Agency (FIDA), Philippine Fishport Development Agency (PFDA) and the Land Bank of the Philippines have been sharing part of their free time in the production of these booms. BFAR, Department of Agriculture (DA), National Food Authority (NFA) and the Iloilo City government have been providing materials like ropes, nets and sacks.

The Iloilo Provincial government provides support in transporting materials. NGOs, professional groups and private individuals and businesses are providing drinking water, foods, bamboos, tools, equipments and other support.

“There is a lot of enthusiasm to contribute in the clean-up and rehabilitation of affected areas that the government task forces should properly tap,” said Melvin Purzuelo of Green Forum-Western Visayas (GF-WV) and one of the conveners of SOS.

SOS was initiated by GF-WV, Iloilo Mountaineering Club (IMC) and Iloilo Mountain Bikers Federation (IMBF) three days after Solar 1 sunk off southern Guimaras. SOS Headquarters is in the BFAR Bldg, Iloilo Fishing Port Complex and inquiries may be coursed through GF-WV at telefax (033) 337-9773.

(From Sunstar, Sept. 13, 2006.)

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