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DENR: No let up in cleanup of oil spill areas

December 8, 2006

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer, December 07, 2006

ILOILO CITY—Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes gave assurances that there will be no letup in the cleanup of the Petron oil spill until the affected areas in Guimaras and Iloilo have been fully rehabilitated.

Reyes issued the statement during a planning workshop organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for a comprehensive approach to the cleanup of the oil spill.

A briefing paper provided at the workshop held here said there were signs that Guimaras has “already recovered except in terms of oil and grease content …”

Reyes said a rehabilitation plan would include the replanting of mangrove trees and monitoring of air and water quality. It would also require the upgrading of laboratory equipment to conduct tests in the future.

Reyes gave the assurance following a statement made by the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Fund that it hoped to make payments to victims of the Petron oil spill before Christmas.

Representatives of IOPC were to meet with government officials and associations of fishermen in Guimaras to discuss the IOPC assessment on the claims for compensation submitted by fishermen and villagers who suffered from the effects of the oil spill.

The IOPC has received 13,000 claims, mostly from fishermen who lost their livelihood after the tanker Solar I sank 13 miles southwest of Nueva Valencia town on Aug. 11.

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