Gov’t banking on oil pollution fund to pay Guimaras folk

September 20, 2006

By Hazel P. Villa, Nestor P. Burgos Jr.

ILOILO CITY – The government is banking on the London-based International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPC) to pay Guimaras residents affected by the Visayas oil spill, especially those who have fallen sick because of toxic fumes from the bunker fuel leaked by the M/T Solar I after it sank August 11.

“The victims of the oil spill are supposed to be covered by the IOPC. The local government units know how to present their claims,” said Glenn Rabonza, executive officer of the National Disaster Coordinating Council in a telephone interview Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, medical tests showed that at least three residents of Barangay Tando, one of the worst hit by the oil spill, had altered hemoglobin, which makes the blood unable to carry oxygen.

Persons with this condition experience shortness of breath and headaches and could even die.

The processing for compensation began Tuesday for people “sick or not sick as long as they are affected,” said Nueva Valencia Mayor Diosdado Gonzaga in a telephone interview.

(For the full story, click Pollution fund, Sept. 19, 2006.)


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