LGU workers volunteer to clean oil slick-A A +A
Thursday, August 22, 2013
SOME employees of the Provincial Capitol, Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova spent the special non-working holiday cleaning the coastlines affected by the oil spill.
Around 150 employees from the different departments in the Capitol volunteered for the cleanup drive near a resort in Barangay Poblacion, Cordova yesterday.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office officer-in-charge Czareem Joseph Estella said the Provincial General Services Office bought 50 sets of protective gear, including boots, masks and gloves for the volunteers.
The Capitol employees used foam, old clothes and nets to contain the oil spill. The nets were the ones used during the Governor's Volleyball Cup and airsoft competition.
Some employees of the Provincial Engineering Office swam around the oil slick to place the nets. Others got on a boat to lay down the improvised booms made by other volunteers.
But Philippine Coast Guard personnel advised the volunteers, who were not wearing protective gear, to get out because the fuel poses a health hazard.
Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy went to the cleanup site and sent town workers to help Capitol employees.
Cordova municipal health officer Christopher Calimbas said they will provide cleanup volunteers and residents of affected areas with masks.
The City Government in Lapu-Lapu City also cleaned up the coastlines of affected barangays.
Andy Berame of the City Coastal Law Enforcement Task Force said they continue to monitor the shores of Barangays Canjulao, Calawisan, Looc and Babag for oil slick, although only a few traces of oil were left yesterday.
City residents and resorts continue to lay improvised oil spill booms.
Berame said Lapu-Lapu City is willing to help its neighbor, Cordova, where most of the oil slick can be found.
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza said oil spill booms made of recycled plastic materials have been placed along the boundary of Lapu-Lapu and Cordova to prevent the spread of oil.
“The City is not greatly affected but we’re doing some preventive measures. We are checking the shores from time to time,” she told reporters yesterday.
Radaza said the local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development is identifying affected fisherfolk for the distribution of relief goods.
Sitoy, on the other hand, said the Municipality of Cordova allotted P1.5 million for the purchase of rice to be distributed to affected residents.
Radaza said hotels and resorts in Lapu-Lapu are not badly affected as they have taken measures to prevent the oil slick from reaching their shores.
Ian Ngujo, assistant banquet manager of Pacific Cebu Resort in Barangay Suba-Basbas, said they have not allowed their guests to swim in the sea since Friday night because of the oil slick.
“Some guests said they were disappointed because the beach is one of their reasons for taking a vacation,” he said in an interview with reporters.
But Ngujo said no bookings have been cancelled because of the oil spill.
Their dive shop also continues to operate because some diving spots have not been affected.
Kathy Rosas, recreation manager of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, said they have closed their beach during the weekend as a precaution.
Resort workers made an improvised oil spill boom using old towels and mattresses to protect their beach from oil slicks.
Johann Tejada, a marine biologist from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 7, said their team will continue to monitor the seawaters of Lapu-Lapu.
“The effect of the oil spill in Lapu-Lapu is only minimal,” he said.
Renan Cimafranca, regional epidemiologist of the Department of Health (DOH) 7, was also at the clean-up site in Cordova yesterday and warned the people not to compromise their health by eating fish or swimming.
In Mandaue City, Gov. Hilario Davide III inspected the coastal barangays on board a speed boat of the Maritime Police after he learned of reports that the city was already affected by the oil spill.
Davide said he did not see any oil slick except in Barangay Labogon, but this may have come from a nearby shipyard.
He instructed the PENRO to check on the possible oil spill.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2013.