Shifting winds push oil spill toward Talisay shores-A A +A
Thursday, August 29, 2013
AFTER the oil spill from the sunken MV St. Thomas Aquinas ravaged parts of Cordova town, shifting winds pushed the oil spill to the shores of two barangays in Talisay City yesterday afternoon.
Talisay City officials are planning to create oil spill booms to protect the city’s coastal areas.
Coastal barangays Tanke and Cansojong complained of the foul odor from the contamination that reached their shores at 2 p.m. yesterday.
Talisay City Councilor Danny Caballero, who was in the area, told Sun.Star Cebu that the oil spill contamination reached their shores after the monsoon winds shifted from northwest to southwest or amihan.
Caballero said it is possible the oil might reach other coastal areas.
He thinks the bunker oil from the sunken vessel could still be leaking.
City Councilor Antonio “Jojo” Bacaltos, who chairs the committee on environment and natural resources, wants the City Government to install oil spill booms.
He also want to listen to the residents nearby on the foul smell emitting from the spill.
Vince Monterde, Talisay City public information officer, said they had asked a TV station for stocks of organic booms.
City officials are urging the public not to swim, particularly in Barangays Cansojong and Tanke. The two barangays are known swimming spots in the city.
The City Government declared a state of calamity in the coastal barangays after the oil spill from the sunken vessel had affected much of the city’s usual fishing grounds.
The declaration of the state of calamity by the Talisay City Government was also in conjunction with a Province-wide calamity alert after the oil spill ravaged much of Cordova town.
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 submitted a P17 million budget for its cash-for-work program for the communities affected by the oil spill.
Jennifer Abastillas, DSWD 7 disaster risk reduction and management focal person, said the program is not yet in place because they are waiting for feedback from the central
But she said the budget is expected to be approved and downloaded to the regional office this week.
The sub-allotment advice for the program is to give a member of one household P245 per day for helping clean up shorelines of bunker fuel and oil that spilled from the M/V St. Thomas Aquinas vessel that was hit by Sulpicio Express Siete last Aug. 16.
Abastillas told Sun.Star Cebu the budget is enough for 10 days for families in the 13 barangays in Cordova town affected by the disaster.
Meanhwile, 3,201 families from these villages were already given one family pack worth P250 and composed of rice and canned goods.
Abastillas said each pack contains food enough for a six-member family good for three days.
On Friday, each of these families will be given additional two families pack each.
In a separate interview, Health Emergency Management staff coordinator Dr. Expedito Medalle said the regional health office conducted a health survey in the same affected villages.
The agency, through medical consultations, found there are seven cases of upper
respiratory tract infections and two cases.
The DOH 7 has organized a command center to adress various concerns on social and health issues.
The Mandaue City Council yesterday approved on first reading an ordinance granting a moratorium on rent for fish vendors in the public market who are losing income because of the oil spill.
Councilor Jimmy Lumapas, chair of the committee on market and abattoir, proposed a 15-day moratorium, but the council agreed to make it 30 days as requested by fish vendors during a meeting with the City Market Authority earlier in the day.
Lumapas, in an interview, said 180 vendors will benefit from the moratorium, once the ordinance is approved on second and final reading next week.
Fish vendors, who pay P35 every day for stall rental, complained of losses as few people buy fish amid fears that sea products sold in the market are contaminated with oil or have eaten human flesh from the sunken passenger ferry near Talisay City.
“The market will lose income, but this is one way of helping the vendors,” Lumapas said.
Despite assurances from officials that sea products in the market are safe to eat, sales in the fish section remain low, the councilor said.
“Consumers of fish and other related products are relatively scarce, leaving vendors in the fish section with large amount of unsold fishery products,” the proposed ordinance read.
Last Aug. 22, City officials and representatives of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) 7 ate fish at the public market to dispel worries sea products sold in the market are not safe.
Bfar 7 Assistant Director Allan Poquita said more than 90 percent of fish sold in Metro Cebu come from northern Cebu and other provinces.
About 300 fishermen in Mandaue are also affected by the oil spill.
Musoline Suliva, market administrator and head of the Public Employment and Services Office, said the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) will help fishermen and fish vendors through its emergency employment program.
The beneficiaries will receive wage from Dole for 45 days by helping in the oil spill cleanup.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2013.