No swimming in oil spill site for now

THE Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) advised the public, especially residents along the coastline of Barangay Sto. Niño Sur in Arevalo district, to avoid swimming in the area following an alleged oil spill incident over the weekend.

The advisory was raised pending the final result of the spill test conducted by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).

CDRRMO Operations and Warning Unit Head Angeli Buencuchillo said the DENR-EMB will reveal this week the result of the Water Analysis Oil and Grease Test.

“We hope this event will serve as an eye opener to us that whatever happens in our barangay, immediately report it to us so that we can take action. We would like to advise to avoid swimming in that area because we want to ensure safety first,” Buencuchillo said.

On May 18, the CDRRMO received a report from Sto. Niño Sur barangay treasurer Sheila Abcede about the spill or tar balls on the one-kilometer coastline.

Buencuchillo said the tar-like material was black, odorless, fluffy and soft.

“Initial investigation revealed that the tar balls either came from Tigbauan or Oton, Iloilo which was swept to the coastlines of Sto. Niño Sur due to the habagat (South West Monsoon),” Buencuchillo noted.

Right after receiving the report, CDRRMO conducted an ocular inspection in the area together with Philippine Coast Guard, and City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO).

The following day, they conducted a coastal clean-up together with partner agencies.

The groups which participated in the clean-up were Sto. Niño Arevalo Barangay Development Council, CENRO, Office of councilor Lady Julie Grace Baronda, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU) Arevalo, Sto. Niño Fire Sub-Station, Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) Mobile Unit, Philippine Red Cross, Arevalo Police Station, Scorpion Volunteer Rescue and Crossroads Responders. (PIO)