Archive for September, 2007


Gov’t claims for oil spill rejected

September 14, 2007

By VG Cabuag
Reporter, BusinessMirror
Sept. 14, 2007

AFTER paying Petron Corp. for the money it spent cleaning up the oil spill near Guimaras Island last year, the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF) rejected claims for the Philippine government’s “cash-for-work” program. The same fund also asked the Coast Guard to explain why its claim is bigger than that of the petroleum company.

In a report, the fund said that although some of its delegates praised the efforts of the regional Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the said cash-for-work program, the cost was not admissible for reimbursement since the measure was not related to the clean-up operation of the oil spill nor for preventive measures for future oil spill.

The regional DSWD asked to be reimbursed by P2 million, which it said was spent on 1,000 families over a period of five to seven days last year. Its program centered on improvements on roads and drainage, food production and community cleaning.

The cash-for-work program was the original idea of Petron, 45 percent of which is owned by the government, which it implemented immediately after the oil spill to give the affected residents some income instead of handing them dole-outs as a result of the incident.

(Click here for the rest of the story.)


PGMA keen on monitoring rehab programs for Guimaras – press release

September 12, 2007

ILOILO CITY (11 September) — Outgoing Incident Commander for Task Force Solar Oil Spill, and outgoing Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Secretary Rafael L. Coscolluela emphasized that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is very keen on monitoring the rehabilitation programs of Guimaras province.

“This is due to the fact that a large amount of money – P867 Million is involved – and we do not want to see the money used in a wasteful manner or worse, misused,” Coscolluela said during the special meeting with the members of Task Force SOS, the other night.

While only a portion of supplemental budget had been released, Coscolluela expressed concern that Director Rosario Cabrera of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) here will be assigned to Region VII, and the OCD VII Director, who has little knowledge of the Guimaras rehabilitation program, will likewise take the OCD VI post.

“What concerns me now is that the incoming OCD Director might have some problems with managing all of the remaining works, given the fact that he knows very little of what we have already done,” Coscolluela said.

Coscolluela explained that the President drafted EO 191 abolishing the Task Force SOS and assigned the task of finishing the Guimaras rehabilitation to the National Disaster Coordination Council and the Office of Civil Defense (NDCC-OCD) and in the process gave the job to Gen. Glenn Rabonza, however most of the work will be left to OCD VI.

He said that the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) is now responsible for facilitating, monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the rehabilitation program to the President.

Coscolluela, who has been appointed by President Arroyo to head the Sugar Regulatory Administration, said that there is a lot of money that is supposed to be released before the end of this year.

He likewise suggested to Gen. Rabonza of OCD to organize a special group to make sure that all the rehabilitation programs will be implemented on time and well.

“The NDCC-OCD should have a mechanism to process and handle the problems that may surface,” in order to prevent the LGUs quarreling among themselves as to how the supplemental budget for the rehabilitation programs be implemented.

Coscolluela also urged concerned government agencies to translate the lessons learned from the Solar I Oil Spill, by strengthening further the response mechanism, and to focus on maritime safety, effective regulation and accident prevention. (PIA)


NDCC: Oil still leaking from submerged vessel

September 9, 2007

DIESEL oil is still leaking from the a submerged vessel being salvaged off Romblon province, but it will not threaten a nearby marine reserve or the nearby environment.

The assurance came from a team led by the Coast Guard, which conducted a dialogue with residents of Concepcion town in Romblon following an inspection of the area.

“Diesel oil was still coming out from the source with an estimated rate of one-half liter per minute or less,” the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said in a report dated Friday but posted on its website ( Saturday evening.

It was referring to the M/V Mactan, which had been submerged off Maester de Campo Island for more than 30 years, and was being salvaged by Calixto Enterprises.

Last Tuesday afternoon, an oil spill was reported off Maestre de Campo Island, or 14.5 nautical miles southeast of Pinamalayan town in Oriental Mindoro.

A team from the Coast Guard conducted an aerial survey and found that the sheen came from the submerged craft.

But it said a check of the shoreline of Masadya village and Sitio Salinraban showed no traces of oil. It said the oil likely dissipated through evaporation and strong wave action.

“After completion of inspection the team conducted dialogue with the local officials of Concepcion and assured them that the oil spill will not threaten the marine reserve since it will not reach the shorelines,” it said.- GMANews.TV


Oil leak detected off Romblon, not Mindoro

September 5, 2007

AUTHORITIES on Wednesday clarified that an oil leak was detected in waters off the island-province of Romblon and not Mindoro Oriental as earlier reported.

Senior Superintendent Mario Velando, Romblon police director, said the incident happened Tuesday noon while a sunken vessel, M/V Mactan, off the island town of Concepcion was being salvaged by a company identified as Eduardo Calixto Enterprise.

A Coast Guard report said the “sheen of diesel oil” was sighted some 600 meters away from the shoreline of Concepcion, Romblon and was about 115 meters in length as of 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard report said the leak “is considered minimal” and that it can be “dispersed naturally through wave action and evaporation.”

It contradicted with an earlier Coast Guard report that it was investigating a possible oil spill off a town in Mindoro Oriental province.

Velando said the incident was detected in Barangay Masadya in Concepcion after the leak emitted an “offensive odor,” prompting the local government on Tuesday to immediately issue an order stopping the salvage operations until the leak was cleaned up or contained.

The Philippines experienced the worst oil spill in its history in August last year when the oil tanker Solar I sunk off the island-province of Guimaras. –GMANews.TV