Shipping lines fined P41M for oil spill following crash
The owners of the two vessels that collided off Lauis Ledge near Talisay City last August were ordered to pay P41 million as compensation due to the resulting oil spill that affected coastal barangays in Cordova town and Lapu-Lapu City.
Dr. Eddie Llamedo, spokesman of the regional Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said they sent demand letters to Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp.(PSACC) and 2GO Group Inc. where they were given until Nov. 15 to pay the fine or else risk facing a civil suit.
2GO Assistant Vice President Lito Salvio said their Cebu office has yet to receive the demand letter from the DENR.
The oil spill caused by the collision damaged 443 mangrove plantations in 12 barangays in Cordova town and Lapu-Lapu City.
Llamedo said a conference will be held with the owners on Oct. 9 to discuss compensation issues.
“Ideally, it will be divided into two. However, we will still wait for the agreement of both companies,” Llamedo said.
A financial plan will be set up for the activities and programs to rehabilitate the affected coastal areas.
It would include coastal clean-ups, mangrove planting and alternative livelihood.
The demand letter dated Oct. 1 signed by DENR Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo Montejo placed the damage on 328 hectares of mangroves at P5,935,000.
The mangroves were planted from 2009 to 2012 and were funded by the DENR’s integrated coastal resource management project (ICRMP) with funding support sourced from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The collision between 2GO’s MV St Thomas Aquinas and Philippine Asia Span Carrier Corp.’s Sulpicio Express Siete resulted in the deaths of 116 passengers.
A total of 21 passengers remain unaccounted for. /Reporter Joy Cherry Quito and Correspondent Michelle Joy L. Padayhag
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