SMALL fishermen from Barangay Banago who were affected by oil spill in Bacolod City have called on the local government and Chevron Philippines Inc. to help them.

Jason Atillo, spokesman of the Kitahanon Small Fishermen Association Inc.-Banago, said they are earnestly asking the local government, its concerned agencies and Chevron Philippines to help them find solutions to their problems because nobody buys their products following the oil spill.

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"We don't have means to earn a living aside from selling fishes and squids. We will go starve if this problem of the lack of livelihood is not immediately addressed," Atillo said.

They asked for an immediate conduct of examination of all marine products near or within the affected areas of the Banago shores by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources so that the consuming public will no longer doubt for their health and safety.

They also asked Chevron Philippines to address this problem with dispatch and help the fisherfolk who were badly affected by the oil spill.

The Department of Agriculture should create a group that will take care of the plight of the fisherfolk and the City Council committee on agriculture headed by Councilor Al Victor Espino should draft a law that will address the problem brought about by the oil spill, they added.

The fishermen also asked Mayor Evelio Leonardia to provide them the needed assistance for them to survive, as they have lost their means of livelihood due to the incident.

Leonardia earlier said he was officially informed that the oil spill was already contained and the situation is manageable.

The local chief executive also urged the people to be more concern about the security in the area because this was deliberately done by some unknown individuals who tried to cut and steal the oil pipes from the abandoned facility of Chevron.

The Bantay Dagat and the Philippine Coast Guards have secured the area. He also urged the public to help report if they spot suspicious looking individuals in the area.

There were already oil spill booms that were deployed in the area to contain the spread of the bunker fuel that leaked from the abandoned pipeline of Chevron which were connected to its refilling station.

This oil spill has affected the livelihood of the fisherfolk in the area.

There were greased dead fishes and squids found in the shores.

But Sillo said the incident is not alarming because according to a Coast Guard expert, the emission of the oil is very minimal since it is less than one liter per hour.

They will take water samples to determine if bunker fuel was indeed the cause of death of the marine products. He also suggested that the dead fishes and squids they have gathered be subjected to examination by the Bureau of Food and Drugs. (Carla N. Canet)