LGUs to keep donated hair but now favor coconut husk-A A +A
Saturday, August 24, 2013
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama has ordered the haircutting stopped at Cebu City Hall because of the opinion of the University of the Philippines-Visayas experts.
But as of yesterday afternoon, volunteers from the Cebu City’s Department of Manpower and Development were still cutting the hair of City Hall employees and walk-in volunteers who want to donate their hair.
Donated hair has almost reached a sack.
Officials of Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova intend to use hair to remove the oil slick in some of their coastal areas.
Roderico Tagaan, head of the Lapu-Lapu City Environment and Natural Resources Office, said they hope to start laying hair booms along the coast of Lapu-Lapu next week.
Tagaan said the hair will be stuffed into stockings or sacks so it will not scatter and become marine pollutants.
“The hair will become pollutants if used improperly,” he said in an interview yesterday.
Dr. Resureccion Sadaba, UPV Oil Spill Program manager, said hair is ineffective in absorbing oil and disposing of it is a problem because it does not decompose.
“And how many heads will you shave to produce a sack of hair?” asked Sadaba during a presentation of his initial findings to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
While they will still use hair boom, Tagaan said, Lapu-Lapu would use more coconut and abaca fiber to remove the oil, which have reached fish ponds in Barangay Calawisan.
Mayor Rama urged the public to donate coconut husks instead of hair.
About 700 inmates at the Lapu-Lapu City Jail donated their hair for the cleanup.
The hair booms will be removed once these have absorbed oil, Tagaan said.
The recycled plastic materials used as improvised spill booms will also be removed from the sea.
Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy said residents and volunteers will continue to use hair to remove bunker oil along the town’s coast but he has encouraged the use of coconut husks instead of hair.
He urged the PCG and 2GO Group to speed up the removal of oil from the sunken ship.
He said he is concerned about the fisherfolk as it is not yet known when they can go back to fishing.
The Municipal Government earlier released P1.5 million in calamity funds to give rice to about 5,000 residents affected by the oil spill. He said the funding was also used to buy food for the cleanup teams.
The mayor said 2GO gives rice and cash to fisherfolk who help in the cleanup. Each fisherman who helps gets P150 for rice and P50 cash.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 24, 2013.