Ways to mitigate oil spill done: 2Go

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Friday, August 15, 2014


PENDING the evaluation and final decision of the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) board on the investigation of two passenger vessels’ collision a year ago, the management of 2Go Group yesterday said it has adopted several measures to mitigate effects of the oil spill.

Calvin Roselloso, 2Go Group Visayas supervisor, said that the measures were patterned after the recommendations of experts from the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) and the London Offshore Consultants (LOC) who arrived in Cebu after the Aug. 16, 2013 tragedy in Lauis Ledge in Talisay City, Cebu to help the authorities assess the situation.

Roselloso said that the ITOPF and LOC representatives came to Cebu to share their expertise and advice during various meetings/consultations on the most appropriate oil-spill response that should be adopted.

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He said there have been constant dialogues by 2GO with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the local government units concerned since the accident happened.

“2GO had meetings with concerned agencies to discuss various environmental concerns arising from the collision,” Roselloso said.

He added that 2GO has contracted Malayan Towage and Salvage Corp. and Nippon Salvage Ltd. to remove the oil from the sunken vessel.

The company claimed it has also extended full cooperation in the PCG’s efforts to clean-up the waters contaminated by oil leaks from the mv St. Thomas Aquinas, particularly in the town of Cordova.

Bunker fuel and oil spread for several days after mv St. Thomas Aquinas and mv Sulpicio Express Siete collided last Aug. 16, 2013.
The collision killed more than 100 persons, while around 800 others survived. Parts of the Aquinas still remain underwater.

According Roselloso, 2GO has contracted Genetron International Marketing Inc., a waste management/disposal company, and has engaged professionals and trained personnel, including expert on mangroves, for the clean-up.

The Marina board is still reviewing the recommendations of the Marina Central Visayas, which conducted an administrative investigation on the accident.

Arnie Santiago, chief of the Marina Enforcement Office based in Manila, said he cannot divulge the recommendations of Marina 7 because these are under evaluation. He said he also does not want to preempt the Marina board’s decision.

The Special Board of Marine Inquiry (SBMI), on the other hand, which finished its separate investigation last September, has yet to release its findings.

The SBMI consolidated all the pieces of evidence and testimonies of the witnesses, including those from the survivors.

There were also statements from officials and counsels of both 2Go Group, owned mv St. Thomas de Aquinas, and the Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. that operates mv Sulpicio Siete. EOB

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 16, 2014.

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