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Loren urges investigation of the Batangas Oil-spill

July 8, 2010

SENATOR LEGARDA, A PASSIONATE ADVOCATE FOR REFORESTATION AND PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT, IMMEDIATELY FILED A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES AS WELL AS THE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SERVICES TO CONDUCT AN IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION ON THE OIL SPILL IN CALATAGAN, BATANGAS.
An oil spill in Barangay Talibayog, Calatagan, Batangas was discovered by one Rodrigo De Jesus, chairman of Bantay Dagat, Calatagan on July 4, 2010. On July 5, the Philippine Coast Guard dispatched vessels, machinery, and an aircraft to conduct oil sampling, conduct the clean up and determine the source of the spill. As of today, the Coast Guard has also l pressure flushing and applying absorbent pads on the areas affected by the oil spill in coordination with the LGUs and Bantay Dagat.
She expressed deep alarm over how in less than 3 days the oil spill already affected about 960 square meters of mangrove forests and deprived the fisherfolk of any catch and stressed that, “We must find the perpetrators and hold them liable not only for the clean-up but also for damages to health, property and lost livelihood of the people in the area.”
People in Barangay Talibayog complained of difficulty in breathing due to the strong smell of the spilled oil and lamented the negative effect of the oil on the newly-planted mangroves in the area.
The Senator urges the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and the Committee on Public Services to immediately conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, for recommendation of appropriate action to the proper government department and the determination of possible liabilities for the said marine pollution incident.
“This negligent act poses harm to the mangroves and the natural ecosystem of Batangas, but more importantly, it adversely affects the livelihood of the fisherfolk of Batangas. We must abate this environmental disaster immediately,” urged Loren.