Execs want poorly maintained vessels banned from Davao Gulf

December 19, 2006

By Germelina Lacorte
Inquirer, Dec. 19, 2006

DAVAO CITY—Officials here are out to ban poorly maintained vessels from entering the Davao Gulf to protect it from oil spills that could endanger the habitat of one of the most diverse marine lives in Asia.

Councilor Leonardo Avila, chair of the Davao Gulf Management Council (DGMC), said the Davao Gulf Council would strengthen the capability of law enforcers to ensure that only vessels in top conditions are allowed entry into the Davao Gulf to prevent an oil spill like that of Petron’s tanker near Guimaras.

Fishing ground

The gulf, bounded by four provinces, 18 towns and five cities, has been a major fishing ground for close to 20,000 commercial fishermen.

While it is also home to 10 species of whales, marine turtles, whale sharks and other forms of marine life, its being a major route of international and local vessels make it vulnerable to oil spills.

“How can we prevent these things from happening?” asked Mayor Rogelio Antalan of the Island Garden City of Samal.

“Can we ensure that those ships coming here are seaworthy to prevent untoward incidents from happening? Our country has been full of accidents just waiting to happen,” said Antalan, who also sits in the DGMC.

(For the full story, click Banned vessels.)


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