Oil spill in Misamis Oriental town probed
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The cleanup of an oil spill that ravaged the coasts of a village in a town in Misamis Oriental province is almost done but the search for its culprit has just begun.
Sabas Tagarda Jr., chief of Lower Jasaan village in Jasaan town, said that as of Friday, a big part of the black substance floating in the coasts was taken out although it might take a few more days to have these totally cleaned.
Volunteers from the village and workers from the nearby ship building and repair firm Philippine Iron Construction and Marine Works Inc. (PICMWI) are doing the cleanup.
The oil spill was first discovered by fishermen on Monday, preventing them from setting sail. It has spread to an estimated 5-hectare stretch of the municipal waters.
As of Tuesday, the spill was already contained but Tagarda lamented that it had damaged the stretch of newly planted mangrove species in the village’s coast.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Moncayo, acting chief of the Philippine Coast Guard’s Marine Environmental Protection Force in Misamis Oriental, said the substance that was discharged was bilge oil that accumulates at a ship’s engine room.
Moncayo added that they were still finding out how the oil from the bilge, which is located on the bottom part of a vessel, was discharged to the sea.
“Any of the more than 20 ships that are docked at the PICMWI shipyard could be responsible,” he said.
Among those docked at the shipyard are tugboats, passenger vessels and cargo ships. As of Wednesday, Moncayo said more than 200 liters of the oil were retrieved. —JIGGER J. JERUSALEM
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