Oil leaks from Petron pipeline in Cavite

By Wheng Hidalgo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2010 01:00 AM | Updated as of Jul 17 2010 09:13 AM

Oil spill affects fishermen's livelihood; speedy clean up urged


MANILA, Philippines - Authorities have placed an oil spill boom and oil dispersant off Rosario, Cavite, but it has done little to prevent the spread of the oil spill in the area.
It has been days since the submarine pipeline of Petron was damaged. As of posting time, oil was still leaking.
Divers said one liter of oil is leaking out every 10 minutes.

Petron officials asserted they are doing everything to repair the pipe, which was broken after an anchor hit it at the height of typhoon Basyang (international code name Conson).
Rosario Mayor Nonong Ricafrente is now considering suspending the operations of the Petron depot.

"Para sila ma-pressure ang kumpanyang ito na hindi balewalain itong problemang dinulot nila dito sa bayan ng Rosario," said Ricafrente. 

Petron, however, said the closure of the depot could be disastrous to Cavite's economy.

Upon a closer inspection by ABS-CBN News, the gravity of the oil spill problem becomes evident.

The smell of oil is strong. Some fishermen are scooping the oil from the water. They are being paid P200 each day for the task.
The oil spill has affected the livelihood of fishermen in the area

Cerilo Banate said this is the first time this happened at the bay.

"Nahirapan kami mag-benta. Parang namimili sila parang kinakabahan e. Baka daw himay langis na yung huli namin. Delikado yan pag may ano ng langis. Nakakasira ng katawan yan e," he said.

"Naaawa po ako sa mga kasamahang mangingisda ng mister ko na hindi ho makalaot, makapag hanapbuhay," said Evelyn Roga, wife of a fisherman.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has begun testing the water for oil and grease content.

Many fear the oil spill may also damage the artificial coral reef in the waters of cavite.

Residents are urging authorities to speed up the clean-up efforts.

Threat of oil spill in Bataan

Bataan province, meanwhile, is also facing the threat of an oil spill.

Two tankers carrying gas have been submerged in the waters of Limay since typhoon 'Basyang' struck.

While no leak has been detected, authorities say the situation is precarious.

The Philippine Coast Guard is closely monitoring the waters off Limay, Bataan.

Oil spill control experts are scouring the area looking for traces of oil spill. None was found.

But the situation is precarious because one the tankers, the MT Deborah Uno, was carrying 200 metric tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

"Of course, hindi natin pwedeng ipagwalang bahala din yung LPG. Unlike yung iba, parang compacted pa yan," said Lt. Geronimo Tuvilla, Philippine Coast Guard station commander. 

The other tanker, the MT Jors, was carrying 497,000 liters of diesel and gasoline.

The Coast Guard said it has the situation under control, but residents are worried an oil disaster could ruin their livelihood.
Over in Mariveles, some fishermen are considering filing a case against owners of cargo vessels that smashed into their fishing boats.

As authorities investigate who should be liable for the accidents, another body was found floating 2 kilometers from the port of Mariveles, bringing to 13, the number of people killed in Bataan, due to typhoon Basyang. -- with a report from Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News