After oil spill, energy firm under fire for quarantine rule breach

Photo by Arnold Almacen

Ayala-led AC Energy Philippines, owner of a power barge that exploded in Bo. Obrero, Lapuz district and triggered an oil spill last July 3, 2020, is again in the spotlight after one of its employees allegedly breached quarantine protocols.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas slammed the company on Thursday, particularly one of its officers who visited the City Mayor’s Office on Tuesday while awaiting the results of his swab results for COVID-19.

According to Treñas, the incident is a clear violation of the existing rules in the metro emphasizing that no one is above the law.

“I thank AC Power (sic) for their donations to the city. It is unfortunate, however, that one of their personnel went to my office before his swab results were released. This is a violation of our existing rules in the city,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Treñas said he will personally file a formal complaint against the personnel who allegedly breached protocols.

“We are serving notice therefore that proper complaint against him will be filed by me personally. No one is above the law in Iloilo City – No one! Do not try our patience and good nature here in Iloilo City,” he stressed.

On Tuesday, the mayor subjected himself to quarantine after being exposed to a member of the AC Energy Philippines and Ayala Foundation team who tested positive for Covid-19.

The infected official was part of the team that handed over donated face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the mayor at the City Hall Tuesday morning.

Based on information from City Hall sources, two members of the AC Energy/Ayala team tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, but only one was present at the turnover.

According to the City Health Office (CHO), they were not informed that the persons were subjected to real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

Supposedly, the health department has reminded that persons who have been subjected to RT-PCR test must be in quarantine until they receive a negative RT-PCR result.

The infected persons underwent RT-PCR testing but were allowed to go around instead of being quarantined since they were authorized persons outside residence or APORs.

The mayor added that the group even went to Dumangas town in Iloilo province while awaiting their test results.

Hence, contact tracing has also been lodged by the local government unit (LGU) in Dumangas to identify those who might have exposure to the positive cases. (ERS)