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From the Center with Rolly Espina (an excerpt)

February 21, 2007

Petron is readying preparations to siphon oil from the sunken tanker, Solar I, below the Guimaras Strait. This will start on Feb. 28.

The International Tanker Owners of Pollution Federation is now mobilizing the equipment to remove the two million liters of the ill-fated fuel lying some 650 feet below sea water.

The extraction project has a time-frame of two months, according to the ITOPF.

Three vessels will be used as platforms – Vega, Wise, and Regulus. All have a total tonnage capacity of 141 tons.

The Philippine Coast Guard has already been contracted to help in the event of need for recovery teams in the area just in case of an oil spill.

The SEAFDEC, meanwhile, also said it has already readied its fish cages and other marine reserves with the necessary protective devices.

Petron, meanwhile, claimed that its insurance firm had paid P117 million to some 17,000 Guimaras fisherfolk. It is still in the process of paying other fishermen, resort and fishpond owners.

The oil corporation claimed it had already shelled out P18 million for its own program in cleaning up the oil spill area. (Visayan Daily Star, Feb. 21, 2007)

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