Environmental team probes fishkill in Bataan
LIMAY, Bataan—The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) sent a team to this town on Friday to investigate a supposed fishkill, which residents of a coastal village here attributed to bunker oil that they said leaked from the Bataan Thermal Power Plant (BTPP) in Barangay (village) Kitang Dos.
Rogelio Aguas, a resident of the fishing village, said they woke up to discover fish floating along the coast. Fishermen gathered the fish in pails.
Some of the dead fish were cooked “but even our pet dogs refused to eat them,” Aguas said.
The EMB team planned to scour the coast and collect samples for testing, after residents claimed to have observed chemicals leaking from the plant nearby from May 26 to May 28.
Some residents said they used to work as watchmen for the facility and reported that it still stocked hundreds of oil drums at the compound.
Reporters sought out the BTPP overseers but security guards there refused to grant them access to the plant’s office, saying the fishermen’s concern will be relayed to their employers.
The Philippine Coast Guard was also alerted to the supposed leak, but the agency was also refused entry on Thursday.
Oscar Peralta, Kitang Dos village chief, said Limay officials had tried to talk to BTPP but was also rebuffed by the facility’s guards.
The fishkill and the alleged oil spill have affected 300 poor fishermen in the village, Peralta said. Greg Refraccion, with a report from Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon
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