Firm for Solar 1 siphoning to be chosen soon – IOPC

November 5, 2006

Visayan Daily Star, Nov. 4, 2006

JOE Nichols, deputy director and technical adviser of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, has informed Secretary Avelino Cruz, chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, that the firm that will siphon the bunker fuel out of the MT Solar 1 that sank off the coast of Guimaras will be chosen in the next few days.

In his letter to Cruz, Nichols asked if the Philippines had no objection to a 100 percent foreign composition of the recovery team, Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Rafael Coscolluela said yesterday.

This is because there does not seem to be any local capability for the kind of operation they will undertake, Coscolluela said. The IOPC also wanted to know if it would deal directly with the NDCC or the Philippine Coast Guard, Coscolluela said.

Cruz has referred the concerns of the IOPC to Coscolluela for his recommendations. The IOPC also asked that the local oil spill containment and control measures continue to be undertaken by the Philippine Coast Guard.

Since the August oil spill caused by MT Solar 1 hit the coasts of Guimaras and Iloilo, the Philippine Coast Guard has been tasked with spraying oil dispersants to prevent any further spill from reaching land.


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