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Editorial – Carelessness

November 24, 2006

SunStar Cagayan de Oro
Nov. 24, 2006

THE sinking of a barge reportedly carrying 100 tons of tar balls off the coast of a Misamis Occidental may only serve to confirm the dismal safety record of the country’s shipping industry.

Whatever the reasons for this accident, affected residents won’t care since they and their families would bear the brunt of the damage wrought on their waters for years to come. And owing to their connections, the perpetrators may yet get away with only a slap on their wrists.

First to be held accountable of course are the management and crew of the barge and Petron, which dismissed the spill as nothing to be alarmed about since the tar balls–or the oil debris, which the barge carried from damaged Guimaras–had “been weathering for sometime.”

This contrasts sharply with an admission from Office of Civil Defense (OCD) officials who, while stating that the barge carried only a small load of oil debris, stated that it would certainly affect the ecosystems in the affected areas.

The management or owners of the barge and Petron certainly have a lot to answer for not only to the people of Guimaras but to the thousands of affected residents of Misamis Occidental.

And it is up to local and the national government officials to see to it that these persons and entities bear the full brunt of the legal, moral and socio-economic consequences of their actions.

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