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No Guimaras repeat, Coast Guard tells Quezon folk

July 18, 2007

GMANews.TV, July 17, 2007

THE Coast Guard allayed Tuesday fears of a repeat of the Guimaras oil spill, considered the worst environmental disaster in Philippine maritime history, following the sinking of a ferry vessel off the coast of Quezon province last week.

Iglesia ni Cristo-run dzEC radio reported Tuesday that Coast Guard spokesman Lieutenant Senior Grade Armand Balilo said the oil carried by the ill-fated M/V Blue Water Princess in the Quezon mishap was different from that in the Guimaras spill.

Balilo said the M/V Blue Water Princess roll-on-roll-off vessel was carrying “white diesel,” which he described as “environmentally friendly” and can be absorbed by marine life.

Earlier reports indicated the ill-fated RORO vessel was carrying some 8,000 liters of oil when it ran aground and eventually sank some 500 meters from the San Francisco coast. At least 11 people died in the incident.

In contrast, the barge M/T Solar I was carrying more than 2.2 million liters of bunker oil when it sank off Guimaras province in Western Visayas in August last year.

The bunker fuel spilled into the water and affected marine life in the area, displacing hundreds of families along the coastal areas who depend on fishing for a living.

It also affected tourism in Guimaras and Iloilo.

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