Fishermen want compensation for oil spill damages

February 27, 2012 at 9:17 am Leave a comment

DAGUPAN CITY — The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) asked La Union Gov. Manuel Ortega to demand damage compensation for oil spilled affected fishermen in San Fernando City from Chevron Philippines.
This was after Ortega called for an investigation after thousands of liters of oil leaked from the depot’s pipelines on Tuesday.
In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap welcomed the probe ordered by Gov. Ortega and the cease and desist order issued by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) against operators of oil depot at Poro Point.
But the fisherfolk leader said the aside from the environmental impact, local leaders and environment officials should also look into the economic impact of the oil spill to poor fisherfolk and other villagers sourcing their day-to-day livelihood from fishing.
“We ask Gov. Ortega and other officials of La Union province to highly consider the awarding of much deserved damage compensation to small fishermen communities who are expected to shoulder the indefinite economic brunt of such environmental disaster done by a multinational oil company like Chevron,” Hicap said.
The Pamalakaya leader said Gov. Ortega and EMB officials should not dilly-dally in charging officials of Chevron Philippines in the name of accountability, and social and environmental justice citing the lingering damage of the oil spill to the livelihood of small fishermen and marine environment.
EMB regional director Joel Salvador recounted the leak occurred when MV Panglao was discharging oil into the pipelines of Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), one of the companies that share the depot along with Shell and Petron.

But Chevron in a statement issued on Thursday argued the spill occurred as the depot’s common receiving line sprung a leak while it was receiving diesel.

The EMB stressed the oil spill incident violated the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 (Republic Act No. 8749) and ordered Chevron to cease and desist from operating the depot until a cleanup is completed and the pipelines are repaired.

Pamalakaya said there is a possibility that MV Panglao might have discharged a significant volume of the 530,000 liters of oil given the wide area covered by the oil leak as shown in national TV.

Entry filed under: News.

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