THE OIL SPILL AND THE BLAME GAME / VALTE: TRABAHO NA PO MUNA
MANILA, AUGUST 12, 2013 (MALAYA) ‘They want to exonerate themselves first or score points at the expense of their political adversaries.’
The clean-up of the oil spill that contaminated Manila Bay and affected the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen in at least three towns of Cavite last Thursday is almost complete.
One can just imagine the huge damage brought by the oil spill to thousands of families in the seaside communities that depend on fishing for their livelihood.
Not only that, the oil spill also emanated a smell that has resulted in some residents particularly women and children falling sick.
It’s a good thing that the Coast Guard is on top of the situation along with the support of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
Sadly, this concerted effort has become unnoticed because some officials have been very busy playing the blame game.
We will never get anything by pointing fingers when the official investigation has yet to start.
As what deputy Palace spokeswoman Abigail Valte said: “Trabaho na po muna.”
That’s the trouble with some officials. They want to exonerate themselves first or score points at the expense of their political adversaries before the getting to the job at hand.
FROM THE ASEAN JOURNAL
A large oil spill from underwater pipe contaminated Manila Bay By Associated Press
Published: August 10, 2013 | No Comments
By Associated Press, August 10 2013
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A large oil spill from an underwater pipe has contaminated waters in Manila Bay near the Philippine capital and prompted authorities on Friday to ban fishing.
The coast guard said about 500,000 liters (132,000 gallons) of diesel fuel formed a red slick stretching some 300 square kilometers (116 square miles) near four coastal towns in Cavite province.
The leak apparently originated from an underwater pipe owned by oil company Petron Corp., or from a pipeline that was connected from the pipe to a tanker that unloaded the diesel at a Cavite terminal on Thursday, Commodore Joel Garcia said.
He said the oil slick covered a 20-kilometer (12.5-mile) stretch of shoreline and was about 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide close to the mouth of the bay.
The mayor of Rosario town said he declared a state of calamity to speed up assistance to fishermen and their families.
“We have been hit badly,” Mayor Jose Ricafrente told DZBB radio station.
Some residents, many of them fishermen who were suddenly out of work, were undeterred by warnings of health risks and waded in the contaminated waters to scoop up the diesel fuel in barrels for sale or in exchange for rice and canned meat.
Petron said in a statement that it had cleared the pipe of fuel and was cooperating with authorities “to resolve this situation immediately,” but it did not acknowledge any wrongdoing.
Asis Perez, head of the government’s fisheries bureau, said the fish supply to Manila would not be affected because 95 percent comes from outside Manila Bay.
He said that big fish could escape from the oil spill but small ones were unlikely to survive. Shellfish also may be contaminated.
Local media reported that dead fish could be seen floating in the bay.
Perez said the diesel would naturally evaporate in about 10 days. Authorities deployed two patrol vessels to enforce the fishing ban.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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