Rizal town mulls charges over oil spill
SAN PEDRO CITY—Officials in the municipality of Teresa, Rizal, which ended up as a “catch basin” of spilled bunker fuel, are looking into the possibility of suing the cement company responsible for the fuel leak into their river.
Marlon Pielago, Teresa environment officer, said “talks are ongoing” among local government officials on whether they would file charges against Cemex, a company manufacturing cement based in Antipolo City, Rizal.
This was after 2,000 liters of bunker fuel from the company spilled into the tributary. Teresa, being next to Antipolo, “was the first one affected as it ended up being a catch basin,” Pielago said.
The 15-km river from Antipolo City passes through Teresa and Morong towns before finally heading down the Laguna Lake.
Dawna Marly Yanong, Teresa disaster risk reduction and management officer, said the spill was first reported late Monday evening after village officials from Barangay Poblacion noticed a “very foul smell coming from the river.”
Yanong said the spill had affected six other villages, namely May-iba, Dalig, San Gabriel, San Roque, Bagumbayan and Prinza.
The Philippine Coast Guard and the Laguna Lake Development Authority had already started its investigation into the spill.
As of Wednesday, clean-up operations continue in Teresa through the use of an oil boom (containment) that will prevent the fuel from draining into parts of Morong and into the lake.
“The company claims it was an accident (but) takes full responsibility anyway. It promised to pay for the costs [of the clean-up],” Yanong said.
Although there are no fish cages in the affected river, authorities advised the public to refrain from fishing until the clean-up is completed. Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon
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