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Mayors agree to collective oil spill claim

October 18, 2006

MAYORS of the coastal towns and cities of Negros Occidental threatened by the MT Solar 1 oil spill off the coast of Guimaras yesterday agreed to lodge a collective claim before the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds.

The mayors of Negros Occidental, as well as Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, agreed to the collective claim on the costs of preventive measures they have undertaken against the oil spill, at a meeting presided by Gov. Joseph Marañon at the Capitol in Bacolod City yesterday.

The collective claims will be consolidated by the Provincial Disaster Management Team and the deadline for submissions will be the end of November, Marañon said. If the claim is collective it will be easier to follow it up, he said.

Captain Patrick Joseph, IOPC claims manager, had earlier said the IOPC provides compensation for oil pollution damage caused by oil spills from tankers. Joseph said claims of as much as $300 million can be made for the pollution damage caused by the Solar 1 spill.

“Reasonable preventive measures will qualify for compensation,” he said.

The main types of claims that can be made, according to IOPC guidelines, are property damage, clean up operations and preventive measures, losses in fishery, mariculture and tourism, and environmental damage.

The IOPC also stresses that expense must actually be incurred, response measures should be reasonable and justifiable, and expense must be due directly to the contamination.(CPG, Visayan Daily Star, Oct. 18, 2006)

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