Another public hearing set over MisOr oil depot-A A +A
Monday, August 26, 2013
ANOTHER round of public consultation has been set on September 2, as residents opposed to the proposed construction of an oil depot in barangay Molugan in El Salvador City and the project proponents have continued their struggle over the proposed project.
Sea Oil Corporation, the proponent of the oil depot, is bent to push for the proposed construction after it got its environmental clearance certificate issued by the Environment and Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Molugan councilor Eugene Soldeverio said all stakeholders are urged to share their personal views on the construction of the oil depot during the consultation to get early resolution of the construction that has become controversial following the protest actions from the residents and environmental groups. The opposing groups fear for the hazards the oil depot will bring to the marine life and the communities around it.
Soldeverio, the acting village chairman, said some of the oil firm’s officials are expected to attend the public hearing.
Soldeverio denied reports that Sea Oil is no longer pushing through with building the depot.
He said talks are still ongoing with regard to the project and the barangay officials will be weighing both the proponents and the oppositions based on the discussions during the previous and upcoming public consultations.
Residents opposed to the construction of the oil depot have been staging picket rallies and the latest they held was in front of the defunct Timber Industries of the Philippines Inc. (TIPI) on August 22. TIPI site is the future location of the oil depot.
Nicandro Borja, leader of the Molugan Bantay Kalikasan, said the area where the proposed five-hectare oil depot will stand is a residential area and it is only a few meters away from the seashore.
He said small fishermen in the area will be affected by the proposed oil depot as it will likely contaminate the sea, making it unsafe for the fishes to thrive, thus, imminent loss of livelihood is at stake and it will be unfit for the people to swim in the area.
He said oil leaks and spillage could possibly happen in oil depots, thus endangering the lives of the people as well as the marine sanctuary in the area.
The country is currently facing another oil slick problem that affected hundreds of residents in fishing communities in Cavite province after Petron’s diesel spill incident in its depot in Rosario town.
Julian Bansid, 72, a fisherman in Barangay Molugan, is anxious over the planned oil depot fearing it will have negative impact on his livelihood.
“Where will we go fishing since it is inevitable that the sea would smell of oil and it would kill the fish,” he said.
A housewife and a mother of two, Jovelyn Macarandan, said they have witnessed Tipi burned many times and it had traumatized them.
“Kapila na gyud masunog ang Tipi, so dili pud na layo nga mahitabo sa Sea Oil,” she said.
William Macarandan, a former Tipi employee, said the oil depot would not really solve unemployment in the area.
“How come they will promise us employment if this will only be operated by computers and machines,” he said.
Borja criticized the EMB for the issuance of ECC to Sea Oil. “It is clear that there is really hocus-pocus on the issuance of ECC without holding a public consultation,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 26, 2013.