Bishops urge faster oil spill cleanup using palay, coco husks

September 17, 2006

THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Sunday urged the Arroyo administration to rush cleanup efforts of the oil spill in Guimaras and to use more effective methods.

Speaking to reporters, CBCP President Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said the government should use coconut and palay husks instead of human hair in clearing up the oil, spilled on August 11 when MT Solar I sank off the southern coast of Guimaras. The tanker was loaded with 2 million liters of bunker oil being shipped by Petron from Bataan to Zamboanga del Sur.

“It’s (using human hair) not practical because it’s degradable and it doesn’t suck oil unlike palay or coconut husks,” said Lagdameo during the weekend.

The CBCP bishop said he has visited Guimaras, which is very near his archdiocese in Jaro, Iloilo, and was saddened by the extent of environmental disaster, loss of livelihood, and ill effects on human health of the oil spill.

He said the government should move quickly to pump out the remaining bunker oil still submerged with the ship to avoid greater damage in the environment and health of residents.

“The government must fast-track its action to take away the remaining oil or else the damage would be greater,” Lagdameo noted.

(For the full story, click Bishops urge, Sept. 17, 2006.)

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