Monday, August 21, 2006

Guimaras Island Oil Spill

The worst oil spill in Philippine history may have just occurred on August 11, off the west coast of Guimaras Island, near Iloilo City in the Central Philippines, when 450,000 gallons (1.8 million liters) of bunker fuel aboard the Solar 1 went down in rough seas of up to 3,000 feet of the Guimaras Strait. (In comparison, the Exxon Valdez oil spill at Prince William Sound, Alaska involved 11 million gallons of oil spilt) A growing oil slick on the surface near Guimaras Island's Nueva Valencia community has befouled portions of the southwest side of Guimaras Island, a tourist destination and the major supplier of the country's high export-quality mangoes. It does not seem to be known at present how big the rupture is in the single hulled vessel, Solar One owned by Sunshine Maritime, Inc. -- or how quickly the oil cargo may be leaking. ABSCBN News reports on the statements of oil company PETRON, which is seeking international assistance with the cleanup. The entire marine and coastline ecosystem of the area is likely to suffer greatly from this disaster. The worst may be yet to come since the depth at which the ship now lies makes an accurate disaster assessment difficult and uncertain. On this morning's Crossroads tv program on ANC, Tony Velasquez asked Petron Public Affairs Manager Virginia Ruivivar about the company's insurance coverage. Ms. Ruivivar stated that persons affected by an oil spill "can make a claim with the insurance carrier." Technical expertise from an international agency is apparently being sought by Petron in order to undertake the inspection of the sunken vessel. Ms. Ruivivar denied allegations the vessel was overloaded and claimed it was certified to be seaworthy by the International Oil Protection Council. The Coast Guard is undertaking an investigation into the incident. The US Coast Guard has some Links on this page that give more information on oil spills and their proper management.


AmericanPainter said...

What an unvarnished crock of crap Petron is putting out. Insurance claims my ass!! I’m sure Ms. Ruivivar and Petron take comfort in knowing in advance, that all such claims will be denied. The destruction to fishing and wildlife has already reached devastating proportions, with more to come.

Amadeo said...

As more-developed countries continue phasing out single-hulled tanks for those double-hulled, these older single-hulled tankers will be plying routes in less-developed countries exposing them to the perils of oil spills like the Exxon Valdez case.

Thus, the need for more monitoring and regulation in those areas, while the international body regulating this industry continues its task of phasing out these older tankers.

Anonymous said...

This is a disaster and the worst is yet to come,and all the people can use to clean up are pails.
And insurance claim offer by petron is a PR BS which amounts to nothing.It will only work for such large companies such as Marsman Drysdale who owns most of the mangoes.

Now as to our maritime capabilities,Bangladesh a supposedly poorer country can lift a sunk boat in just a few hours.

manuelbuencamino said...

Petron thinks the oil spill is just a pr problem. People in affected areas should boycott petron until petron pays them compensation and cleans the place up for real. Actually we should all boycott petron and teach those fuckers a lesson in social responsibility.

Jesse said...

Petron's comment is making me sick. What a fucking horseshit. In addition, what is wrong with the Philippine News organizations, they would rather cover stupid news than this environmental disaster. Wake up and smell the oil slick. Give it an all out round the clock coverage and exposure. The Petron's official most specifically the Chairman or the CEO should come to the public and takes some fucking responsibility. What a bunch of assholes. They are passing the bucket, a typical fucking mentality, ITS NOT MY FAULT CRAP. Shame to all of you. BOYCOTT EVERY SINGLE PETRON PRODUCTS. TOTAL BOYCOTT.

Jules said...

It is ironic that at this point of time where there is still a slim window of opportunity to take that leaking oil tanker off from the waters of Guimaras, Petron is delaying its obligations to clean up its act. As a consumer, I am disgusted at the company’s seeming insensitivity towards the environment, and how it washes its hands of any responsibility.

I wanted to help in letting Petron feel my displeasure, but I felt helpless in making a dent at the company. But then, I remembered how Gandhi evoked change through civil disobedience wherein he urged ordinary people to boycott English cotton which resulted in hurting of the sales of foreign business and the eventual attention of the British government.To evoke change is to provoke Petron where it hurts them the most: their pockets. In this regard, I urge all petrol-consuming Filipinos to BOYCOTT ALL PETRON PRODUCTS AND GAS STATIONS until they remove that ship from the Guimaras waters. I’m doing my share of protest in the hope that they will listen to the voice of its consumers.