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RDC sends Marina proposal to impose toll on oil tankers

November 30, 2006

The Freeman 11/30/2006

THE Regional Development Council of Central Visayas has referred to the Maritime Industry Authority for study a proposal to impose toll on oil tankers sailing through inner seas in the country.

The proposal was raised during the RDC full-council meeting in Dumaguete City last Tuesday, through its development administration committee.

The proposal was also an offshoot to the oil spill in Guimaras that was deemed as the country’s worst environmental disaster, which has affected the health and livelihood of people in that place and neighboring islands.

The idea of toll imposition might be included among the proposed measures to prevent another oil spill that have been under discussion at the national level, through the direction of President Gloria Arroyo.

Toll revenues could be used for clean-up activities or marine disaster mitigation in case another oil spill occurs, the proposal said.

RDC chairman George Arnaiz, also the governor of Negros Oriental, commented that the proposal is timely after another barge loaded with oil debris from Guimaras sunk in Misamis Oriental last week.

Marina is the appropriate government authority to evaluate the proposal the agency’s functions include formulating plans, policies, standards, procedures, rules and regulations.

Marina is also tasked to develop the maritime industry by enforcing rules for the prevention of marine pollution in navigable waters of the Philippines, undertaking researches and studies and submitting reports and recommendations. (Gregg M. Rubio)

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