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GMA: Guimaras recovery fast – press release

June 17, 2007

Iloilo City (13 June) – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed satisfaction over the rehabilitation efforts initiated for the recovery of the once oil-spill devastated province of Guimaras.

President Arroyo made this assessment as she listened to the report of Petron CEO Nicasio Alcantara on the activities undertaken in Guimaras to mitigate the effects of oil spill to human and marine life.

Alcantara reported on the cash for work program which resulted to the cleaning up of the oil-spill affected shorelines in less than four months. He said that the scientific community from leading institutions have provided needed inputs for ecological recovery.

He was pleased to report to the President that according to the UPV, the affected mangrove areas are slowly recovering, and based on a study by Siliman University ’s Dr. Angel Alcala, there is no visual evidence of coral damage.

The Petron CEO also reported of the oil retrieval operations conducted by Sonsub, and that the IOPC has ensured that those affected by the oil spill are reasonably compensated.

“About a hundred million pesos has been given to claimants,” he said as he pointed out that Petron has continuing program to ensure the safe transport of fuels.

Another long term rehabilitation program of Petron was materialized with the construction of Library Hub in Jordan, with President Arroyo leading the inauguration yesterday.

The Petron Library hub received an initial 36, 000 books and this will be made available to teachers and administrators for schools within the designated area. Each school is allowed to borrow the book bundles for a period of 30 days.

President Arroyo asked Petron to install computer terminal in each of the 17 high schools, and according to her Petron readily said yes. She stressed that one of her ten-point agenda is education for all where high schools would have computer linkage before her term ends in 2010.

During the occasion, the President was also presented with the MOA signed between Petron and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center to establish a Mariculture livelihood model farm within the Seafdec facilities in Nueva Valencia. The Department of Social Welfare and Development also turned over the P3 million seed capital to four Self-Employment Assistance Kabuhayan Associations for seaweed farming. (Phil. Information Agency)

Petron assures safety of fuel transport in Guimaras – press release

Iloilo City (14 June) — With lessons already learnt from the devastation brought by the Solar! oil spill incident to the province of Guimaras, Petron assured President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the public that they have instituted measures to ensure the safe transport of their fuels.

This assurance was made by Petron CEO Nicasio Alcantara to President Arroyo during the inauguration of the Petron Library Hub, and turn over of multi-million peso-livelihood assistance for the oil spill affected people of Guimaras.

It may be recalled that MT Solar ! sank off the Guimaras Strait in August 11, 2006. The tanker spilled some two million liters of oil and affected 11 coastal barangays in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras.

Alcantara said that they have launched in 2004 a shipping alliance project, a continuing program to ensure the safe transport of fuels.

Towards this end, Alcantara said “we launched the building of nine new double-hull and double bottom vessels by 2008, ahead of international regulations”.

He said that the first vessel was inaugurated in 2005, followed by another in 2006, and the third vessel which is considered the largest and most modern oil-tanker in the Philippines.

He further told the Preisdent that they have joined the East Asia Response Limited, the largest oil spill response organization in the world.

“This enhances our capability, and that includes the government, to deal with very large oil spills giving us access to rapid response services,” the Petron CEO concluded.
(Phil. Information Agency)

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