MANILA - Environment Secretary Gina Lopez said Wednesday she is willing to facilitate the issuance of a permit that would allow Petron Corp. to transfer an ash stockpile from its oil refinery in Bataan.
"I will ask [Petron Corp. president] Ramon Ang to submit an application to transport the ash, so that we can process it immediately," Lopez said.
Lopez said she will ensure that the company "will comply with environmental laws and not cause people to suffer."
Petron plans to transfer the ash stockpile from its Petron Bataan Refinery to a cement plant also within the refinery complex in the town of Limay, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said.
Environment officials are also investigating the ash spill that has caused some residents in the area to fall ill.
Petron has denied allegations ash from its dump spilled into the Bataan coastline.