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All systems go for oil recovery operations – gov’t press release

March 1, 2007

ILOILO CITY – Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas, Secretary Rafael Coscolluela expressed confidence that the most awaited recovery operations of oil from the sunken MT Solar I off the Guimaras Strait will start March 14, 2007.

Secretary Coscolluela said during a press briefing that the Allied Shield vessel of the SONSUP, an Italian firm hired for the recovery operation, will arrive on said date at the Bacolod BREDCO Port in Negros Occidental.

“The decision to use Bacolod Port as the host port is based on several reasons,” PA Coscolluela said. Bacolod Port , he said, is the only one that can provide a dedicated berthing area for the Allied Shield.

PA Coscolluela said that the Allied Shields Operations Director, Mark Phibbs will be arriving shortly before the said vessel arrives in Bacolod City. The Allied shield will have on board all the necessary equipment needed for the underwater operations. It will also provide accommodations for 52 personnel composed of ship crew, client representatives and technical staff.

It will be recalled that MT Solar I carrying tons of oil sank off Guimaras Strait in August 2006.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited the island province on several occasions and directed concerned agencies to seek all the necessary assistance, domestic or international and extend the necessary relief and livelihood aid to the affected communities.

Massive clean up operations and several forms of assistance were extended both by the government, private, domestic and international institutions to mitigate the effects of oils pill to human and marine life.

The International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund responded also through a multi-million peso payments to persons affected by the oil spill. (Phil. Information Agency)

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