Guimaras beer sales up; better days ahead?

December 2, 2006

By Blanche Rivera
Inquirer, Dec. 1, 2006

NUEVA VALENCIA, Guimaras – It has been a beer-y tough time for the people here, burp.

But beer-selling stores have certainly had a blast as sales went up in the three months following the Aug. 11 oil spill that contaminated the province’s waters and forced fisherfolk to abandon their boats and nets for some cleanup work.

Jose Lorenzo Tan, president of the environmental group World Wildlife Fund-Philippines, said studies presented during a scientific conference attended by some 110 experts here this week showed that beer sales in Guimaras province had gone up.

Tan said this indicated better times for the mostly fisherfolk residents who were hired to clean up the oil slick on 220 kilometers of coastline.

“There was a study that came out (during the conference)…. Guimaras is one of the economically depressed provinces in the country (but) beer sales have gone up in the last three months. Now where does that come from?” Tan said.

(For the rest of the story, click Guimaras beer.)


WHOOPDEEDO! Isn’t that good news? For San Miguel Corp. that is!

As Mr. Tan says so himself, the beer sales were pushed by the cash-for-work program of Petron, so the fisherfolk had money to pay for their poison. Now that the program is over, how stable is the economy actually going to be in a few more months, when the fisherfolk return to their depleted fishing grounds? This was just another pathetic attempt at positivity instead of dealing with reality.

What’s unfortunate is that the reporter took Mr. Tan’s statement hook, line and sinker, without even bothering to actually secure the study he mentioned. Not having that, she could have easily validated his statement by speaking with sari-sari store owners in Guimaras. They would be in the best position to comment on whether or not those beer bottles were actually flying out the window as Mr. Tan claimed. Tsk, tsk, tsk…sloppy, sloppy journalism if you ask me.



  1. Really a sad story…may i just ask what WWF is trying to say, that Guimaras is better off now than before the oil spill? on the other hand this may indicate that people has resorted to alcohol to drown and forget for a while their sad state and diminished hope.
    You are right, it would be good to validate this finding thru the sarisari stores in the affected areas. God bless Guimaras.

  2. What’s the basis of that statement? The information that says “studies presented during a scientific conference attended by some 110 experts here this week showed that beer sales in Guimaras province had gone up” may just be a product of Mr. Tan’s imagination. I attended the conference and there is no such study.

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