Iloilo oil spill cleanup shows progress

Agencies and groups tasked to address the July 3 Iloilo oil spill met recently to present and assess their progress as well as their plan of action.

The task force is composed of Iloilo City barangays, the Iloilo City Government, the Philippine Coast Guard, and Ayala-owned AC Energy Philippines and its consultant AECOM Philippines.

Oil-spill affected households

The task force is currently assessing the 323 relocated households and as of this writing, have surveyed 70 of them.

The task force has developed a set of parameters for the reintegration of the community. The said survey is the first step in ensuring that the oil-spill affected families can safely return to their homes after the clean-up.

Gabby Mejia, head of AC Energy Philippines for Plant Operations recently joined Iloilo Mayor Jerry Trenas in inspecting the evacuation centers to ensure that the needs of the families are well provided.

The families were provided health assessment, medicines, safe drinking water and packed meals, and clean food preparation areas.

Clean-up activities

AC Energy Philippines and AECOM Philippines presented their action plans and Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique (SCAT), an internationally-recognized method used to survey and document the impact of spills on shorelines, and the effectiveness of cleanup activities and conduct post-cleanup inspections and evaluations.

AC Energy Philippines stressed their commitment to “making sure the cleanup efforts are not only compliant with international standards but also involves all stakeholders in a collaborative approach to the spill response.”

Mejia thanked everyone who participated in the multi-stakeholder process. “With this strong collaboration among the various stakeholders, we are confident that we will be able to achieve our common objective restore normalcy in the lives of everyone”, he said.

The meeting was organized by the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) and attended by various stakeholders such as the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office and its Environment Management Bureau (EMB), City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), and other government agencies together with Dr. Rex Sadaba of U.P. Visayas.

July 3 Iloilo oil spill

To recall, an accident with the power barge of AC Energy Philippines caused an oil spill off the waters of Lapuz, Iloilo last July 3, 2020. The company immediately undertook containment procedures but high ocean waves in the afternoon caused some of the oil to spill out of their confinement area.

According to the Philipine Coast Guard, about 268,948 liters of oil were spilled, affecting 88.8 hectares of mangrove area and 34 coastal barangays.

As of this writing, about 260,517 liters of bunker oil and about 151 sacks of contaminated debris were collected from Iloilo and Guimaras.

Currently, there are 400 persons engaged in the rapid response, doing various activities such as booming, surveying, clean-up operations and rehabilitation./

Related articles

AC Energy cites rehab plan to address Iloilo oil spill (July 13, 2020)

Oil spill-affected families in Iloilo return home (July 21, 2020)

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