Oil spill in Iloilo City may reach major fishing grounds in Visayas
Fishermen are worried that the oil spill in Lapuz, Iloilo City — which resulted from the explosion of a power barge owned by an Ayala company — will reach major fishing grounds in Visayas.
In a statement, Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) said that if not contained urgently, the spilled oil could be pushed across the waters by wind and currents and reach the major fishing grounds which are the Guimaras Strait and Visayan Sea affecting fishers from Guimaras Island, Negros Occidental, Masbate, and Eastern and Western Visayas.
It then called for a speedy government response on the oil spill and rehabilitation of the affected coastal resources and families displaced.
Last Friday, 40,000 liters of bunker fuel spilled into the waters of Lapuz, Iloilo City after an explosion of a power barge owned by AC Energy, the power arm of Ayala Corp.
“We call on the concerned government agencies to implement urgent measures to contain the oil spill and prevent it from spreading across the major fishing grounds in Visayas. Oil spill poses serious injury and loss of life and/or irreversible water contamination of surface, ground, coastal, and marine waters,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
“We don’t want the repeat of the Guimaras oil spill that did not only literally painted the waters black, but devastated the marine environment and economic lives of thousands of fisherfolk,” he added, referring to the Guimaras oil spill that occurred in 2006, and is considered as the “worst oil spill in the history of Philippines”.
Lastly, PAMALAKAYA called on Ayala’s AC Energy to pay compensatory damages and that it shoulder the cleanup cost of the massive oil slick.