Spread of oil slick in Leyte town contained
TACLOBAN CITY—The oil spill that spread on the shores of San Ricardo town in Southern Leyte has been contained, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said on Monday.
Lt. Commander Donna Liza Duran, the PCG commander in Southern Leyte, said their personnel collected 20 liters of oil from the coastal villages of Benit and Tambo, the communities hardest hit by the spill.
“The oil spill has been contained already with the last cleanup ending at 1 p.m. [Monday]. We have to credit this to the immediate response by the Coast Guard as well as by the local residents and officials,” Duran said in an interview.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, she said, has conducted water sampling in the area and declared its waters as “clear and safe.”The PCG is investigating LCT Georgia 1 and MV San Ric Ferry 20—both of which are docked in a private port in Barangay Benit—as the possible sources of the spill that started on July 7.
Duran said oil samples were taken from the two ships to determine whether these match with those collected from local waters. She, however, declined to provide details pending the result of the PCG investigation.
“But what we can guarantee is that somebody will be held accountable for this oil spill … Otherwise, this could happen again,” she said.
The local government of San Ricardo, Duran said, may seek damages for environmental violations.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development in Eastern Visayas has prepared assistance for at least 297 affected families in the villages of Benit and Timba. Most of them earn a living by fishing.