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Makati barangay seeks state of calamity status

By Tina Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:30:00 09/18/2010

Filed Under: Disasters (general), Local authorities, Environmental Issues

RESIDENTS of Barangay (village) Bangkal in Makati City are asking the city government to place the area under a state of calamity to resolve the two-month-old oil leak problem at the basement of the 22-story West Tower condominium located in the area.

And Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. is inclined to support the request, according to the city?s public information office.

The city?s calamity fund for 2010 is P348,932,500. Declaring a state of calamity will allow the city to tap the fund, the office added.

Part of the amount could be used to address the problem and to determine the source of the oil leak.

Binay is meeting next week with the national government agencies, including the Department of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, to discuss how the problem can be resolved.

The meeting is also expected to tackle whether the entire barangay or just the affected area should be placed under a state of calamity.

The request of barangay officials and residents was reportedly submitted to the city government in the form of a barangay council resolution.

Approval of the city council, however, is needed before an area can be declared under a state of calamity.

Condominium unit owners were forced to move out in July after the building was described as ?a ticking time bomb that could explode if ignited.?

Residents took over the task of draining the mixture of floodwater and oil at the basement after they were left to do the work by the building administrator.

Makati City officials ruled out the possibility that the oil in the West Tower basement came from a pipeline operated by First Philippine Industrial Corp. after its personnel organized teams to dig around the area for evidence of oil leaks, but found none.



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