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Oil sheen going to southern Iloilo

October 13, 2006

COASTAL municipalities in Southern Iloilo are now in tight watch over the oil sheen and possible oil slick after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported the shift of winds from habagat to amihan or from northeast to southwest direction.

DENR Regional Technical Director Benjamin Lipayon has raised the alert and identified the possible areas to be hit by the oil sheen as the coast of Iloilo City and the municipalities of Oton to San Joaquin in southern Iloilo.

He said his office is doing everything to help mitigate the effects of the oil spill caused by the sunken M/T Solar 1 oil tanker.

The vessel was carrying more than two million liters of bunker oil and was on its way to Zamboanga from Bataan when it sank last August 11 at the tip of southern Guimaras Island.

Meanwhile, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Iloilo commander Harold Jarder said there is nothing to be afraid of since there is very limited spurts of oil from the tanker, which remains underwater, that causes the oil sheen to as far as the municipalities of Ajuy and Concepcion in northern Iloilo.

The PCG also admitted the reduction of monitoring vessels since October 9 at the sunken site.

To date, there is only one PCG ship and a tugboat from responders to monitor the oil sheen.

On the other hand, the executive committee of the International Oil Pollution Commission (IOPC) will hold a meeting in London on October 23 and among the topics to be taken up is the Guimaras oil spill and how the IOPC could help speed up the siphoning off of the remaining oil in the tanker.

IOPC is composed of 14 oil producing countries in Europe and America but the Philippines is not a member despite the fact that Petron Corporation is a contributor to the IOPC fund. (PNA)

(Published in news.balita.ph, Oct. 12, 2006.)

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