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Gov’t eyes end to Guimaras oil recovery efforts by March 15

January 4, 2007

PIA Press Release

ILOILO CITY (3 January) – March 15 or 16 are the expected dates when the recovery of the remaining bunker oil from the sunken MT Solar I in Guimaras island shall have been finished.

Secretary Rafael Coscolluela, Presidential Adviser for western Visayas and chair of the Task Force Oil Spill said in yesterday’s press brieifing that preparations are being done for the needed requirements for the SONSUP, an Italian firm based in Singapore, contracted to conduct the massive siphoning operations.

In a separate interview with Secretary Coscolluela, he said SONSUP is coordinating closely with the Philippine Coast Guard to meet all requirements so that they can proceed with the operations by last week of February 2006.

Secretary Coscolluela said that the remaining oil in the sunken vessel poses no threat or danger to cause further damage.

“There has been no changes in the amount of oil leaking out of the sunken vessel. The leak is very minimal that as soon as it surfaces, it tends to dispersed right away,” Coscolluela said.

He said that the situation is closely monitored so that should there be an increase in volume of the leakage, then there will be appropriate measures to be taken.

He likewise announced during the press conference that fisherfolk in San Lorenzo, Jordan and Sibunag have already received their respective claims from the IOPC. Next to be settled is for the towns of Nueva Valencia on January 8-20, and Buenavista on January 22-31, followed by fishpond and seaweeds operators, then claimants from Iloilo province.

In the same press conference, Petron commitedto retrieve the 200 sacks of oil debris in the island barangay of Guiwanon and will also return to finish the cleaning of areas in Tando and San Antonio in Guimaras. However, Petron clarified that they will act based on the recommendations of Task Force SOS. (Philippine Information Agency)

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