Aklan oil spill contained – Coast Guard

On-scene monitoring by New Washington Mayor Jessica R. Panambo, Punong Barangay Alex Dela Cruz, and Philippine Coast Guard personnel. (New Washington MDRRMO photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

The Philippine Coast Guard has contained the 150 liters of oil that spilled into the waterways in New Washington, Aklan, on May 26.

Coast Guard Station (CGS) Aklan commander John Laurence Banzuela confirmed this to the Daily Guardian on Tuesday, June 4. He noted that the clearing operation for the oil sheen, which affected at least three villages, is 60 percent complete.

“We have already contained the oil spill, and our clearing operation is ongoing,” he said.

Traces of oil sheen have been monitored not only near the shipyard in Barangay Polo but also in Barangay Poblacion (Sitio Malogo, Kamingawan, Lagatik, Riverside) and Barangay Tambak (Sitio Kamangahan).

Banzuela expects the clearing operation to be finished next week.

In addition to deploying spill booms, manually scooping, and using marine oil absorbent mats or pads, CGS Aklan is considering using suction pumps to eliminate the remaining oil sheen near the barge.

Banzuela stated they have yet to determine the total damage caused by the oil spill.

“Our investigation is still ongoing to determine who will be held liable for the oil spill. As of now, we cannot yet identify the most liable party,” he added.

However, Banzuela noted that Metallica Shipyard, the owner of the shipyard, has committed to covering all expenses related to the incident.

The spill was attributed to heavy southwest monsoon rains, which caused a rapid rise in water levels, flooding a barge and resulting in the oil leak.

“The shipyard owner is cooperative and fully supports our ongoing efforts,” Banzuela emphasized, noting the shipyard’s compliance in safeguarding the marine environment and resources.

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