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Oil firm to upgrade vessels, equipment

April 3, 2007

By Genalin D. Ducay
SunStar Bacolod
Tuesday, April 03, 2007

AFTER the successful oil recovery operation on the sunken motor tanker Solar 1, Petron Corporation vowed to upgrade their facilities to prevent another case of oil spill.

Carlos Tan, Health and Safety Environment (HSE) manager said Petron will replace their single hull tankers with double-hull and double bottom ship before the current year ends.

A double-hulled vessel is among the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for vessels carrying oil in bulk.

“Last January, Petron also became an official member of the East Asia Response Limited (Earl),” Tan said.

Earl responds to oil spill cases 24 hours a day whole year round.

The National Government also assured to implement institutionalized measures to deter the occurrence of another oil spill.

Presidential adviser for Western Visayas Rafael Coscolluela said the government will review the oil spill contingency plans and order agencies such as the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to strictly enforce environment regulations.

Preparing the local government units is also part of the plan.

He admitted, though, that it takes two to three years for the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) to fully implement their programs, adding, “There are no instant solutions yet and I’m afraid.”

Another proposed plan is the rerouting of vessels carrying harmful chemicals and oil. This however is costly and needs time and money.

For their part, the Philippine Coast Guard has allocated P30 million for the acquisition of modern marine equipment.

They have also formulated disaster preparedness plans.

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