Guv wants clear work plan for oil spill clean-up

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014


ILOILO – Kuan Yu Global Technologies, the contractor hired for P87 million just to clean the oil spill here, remained under fire after it failed to present a clearer work plan during its representative’s recent appearance in the Provincial Capitol.

Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., chairman of the Power Barge 103 Oil Spill Task Force, said on Tuesday that he will ask the president of the firm himself, Karl Ignatius P. Young, to do the presentation in their next meeting next week.

“The contractor must give us their clear work plan and explain in details the strategies they are using,” stressed Defensor.

He also stands firm in his previous pronouncements that he will file charges against the alleged dubious contractor and state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.

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“This oil spill has cost us a lot and I want them to pay for it,” he said adding that the decision stands even if the contractor can finish their job. “We will file it when the right time comes,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Resurreccion Sadaba, the oil spill response program manager of the University of the Philippines-Visayas and consultant of the governor, has proposed to conduct an impact assessment of the oil spill.

The impact assessment, which will cover all aspects like economic and environment, will cost the province or the National Government around P5.5-million. The six-month study can also be one of the bases of the damage suit.

Sadaba also expressed dissatisfaction on the way the contractor cleaned the oil spill in the shoreline of Estancia.

Sadaba said he has been telling the contractor to place absorbent booms in the shore to contain the oil every time they perform high pressure flushing on the rocks but to no avail.

The work, then, becomes inefficient and ineffective because the workers have to clean the rocks again since the oil is coming back and forth of the sea, he said.

He is also against the use of bio-dispersants for it cannot recover the oil. Instead, the oil dissolves in the water column and it can possibly contaminate the underground water resource, he warned.

“The clean-up should depend on the habitat. An aggressive clean-up using this chemical may cause more ecological damage in the long run. Other countries have observed this and we do not want the same mistake to happen here,” Sadaba explained.

Sabanda said he highly recommends the manual removal and use of high pressure flushing in cleaning.

As to the mangroves and other trees affected by oil spill, a “no touch” policy should be applied since the oil will simply evaporate or flushed away naturally, he said. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)

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