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Donor to recall budget for ‘fish festival’?

March 1, 2007

By Maricar M. Calubiran
The News Today, Feb. 28, 2007

THE Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Club will allegedly recall the budget it gave to the provincial office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for its “fish festival as it is already too late to hold the festival. The Club primarily wants the festival to promote the bounty of the Guimaras waters.

A source said the Club wants to collect some P600,000 budget for the festival. The budget was given to the provincial office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) last year. At first, the provincial government wanted to act as event organizer for the festival. However, the Club wanted the BFAR to spearhead the activity.

The same source said the P&I Club had been waiting for too long and yet nothing happened. Earlier, in one of the briefings of the Task Force SOS, fisheries officials from the province of Guimaras said the festival will be held in February this year. The P&I Club is the insurer of the M/T Solar I.

The source said it is already too late for the festival to be the held as the removal operation for the remaining oil inside the tanks of MT Solar I would be conducted second week of March. The source observed that the fishermen had went back to the sea for a catch few months after the oil spill.

M/T Solar sank in Guimaras last August 11, 2006 and spilled tons of industrial fuel oil. The oil spill in Guimaras is the worst oil spill recorded in the country. The spill affected the lives of the islanders particularly the fishermen, pond and resort owners.

To recall, the provincial government of Guimaras wanted the fish festival to be held after the joint team of different line agencies declare a clean bill of health.

However, experts from the National Poison Management and Control Center said they could not declare the island as free from any toxic fumes but can only downgrade the level of toxicity in the affected areas.

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(Sorry kids, I’m just too tired to edit this story. Picked it up straight from the paper. Pardon the grammar.)

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