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Milenyo helps disperse oil spill

October 3, 2006

TYPHOON Milenyo served as a dispersant of the oil seeping out of the sink site of the MT Solar 1 off the coast of Guimaras, Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Rafael Coscolluela said yesterday.

MT Solar 1 with 2.1 million liters of Petron oil sank on Aug. 11 and its oil spill has hit the coasts of Guimaras and Iloilo.

Five liters of fuel an hour continues to come out of the sink site and Cosolluela said rough seas and heavy rains helped in its dispersal, much like the dispersants sprayed by the Coast Guard.

It also helped clean up some shorelines, he added.

Coscolluela said there has been no word yet from Manila on when the actual siphoning out of the sunken oil will be done.

Local government officials in Western Visayas have been calling for its removal before it spills onto their shorelines. Glenn Rabonza, executive officer of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, in a letter to Negros Occidental Gov. Joseph Marañon, said the NDCC, in collaboration with Task Force Guimaras, has resolved to undertake an integrated, wholistic and participatory response to the MT Solar 1 oil spill.

“One of the priorities in the response plan is to fast-track the recovery of the remaining oil in the sunken vessel and ensure that measures shall be instituted towards averting further damage to the environment, marine resources, economy and well-being of the affected communities,” Rabonza said. Marañon said that is not enough, a specific timetable should be set on the actual removal of the sunken fuel. He said he will write to the NDCC and ask for a more specific response. (Carla P. Gomez, Visayan Daily Star, Oct. 3, 2006)

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WELL this is good news! Let’s hope the Coast Guard can confirm this and give us a good idea on how large the area has actually been cleaned up. Way to go Milenyo!

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