Petron trying to smoke screen clean-up operations?

September 17, 2006

By Maricar M. Calubiran

CERTAIN residents of Barangay Tando, Guimaras claimed that Petron Corporation seemingly tries to conceal the real situation in their area and at the same time declare that it has already been cleaned up.

A male clean-up worker disclosed that they were ordered to cover with cement the lower portion of coconut trees lined beneath the shoreline. The worker said the order came from Petron personnel supervising the clean-up operation in their area.

Another woman worker said they have no idea why Petron asked them to cover the portions where traces of bunker fuel are clearly seen. She even showed the patches of oil sludge buried on the sand. There are other trees lined along the shoreline which are left untouched. Some of the residents even cut portions of the trees heavily covered with bunker fuel oil.

Both workers requested anonymity for fear of expulsion from the group of cleanup workers under Petron’s cash for work program. Recently, Department of Health ordered the stoppage of the clean-up operations in the different barangays after high level of hydrogen sulfide was traced in the air.

Sources confided that Petron is doing the same dubious act not only in Barangay Tando but also in other affected barangays in Nueva Valencia. The oil sludge washed ashore is intentionally hidden on the sand, they said.

(For the full story, click The News Today, Sept. 15, 2006.)

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