Oil spill hits Calaca shoreline

By Arnell Ozaeta, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog

Posted at Apr 05 2014 08:45 AM | Updated as of Apr 05 2014 04:45 PM

BATANGAS – An oil spill which affected the shorelines of Barangay Baclutan and Barangay Salong in Calaca town has been contained as of Friday, according to officials of the Coast Guard.

Seaman 1st Class Michael Sangangbayan of the Marine Environmental Protection Command of the Coast Guard Southern Tagalog Station said a group of fishermen sought the help of authorities after an oil spill affected some 1 to 2 kilometers of the barangays’ shoreline on Wednesday.

The Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire and the local government unit then went to the area to assess the situation.

They were assisted by marine environmentalists from the Coast Guard together with the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources of Calatagan.

Sangangbayan said the Phoenix Petroleum Company, whose plant is situated at the said barangay, immediately placed an oil spill boom at their pier to contain the oil sleek.

He however clarified that Phoenix has nothing to do with the oil spill after thoroughly checking its pipeline.

Residents living along the shoreline together with authorities conducted a clean-up operation by manually scooping the oil residue in the area.

Sangangbayan said the situation has been contained.

"There’s nothing to be alarmed of, hindi naman makakaapekto sa ating mga marine life ang naganap na oil spill," he said.

He said the sunlight and the waves will serve as a natural dispersant of the oil sheen.

Meanwhile, Lea Intia, Pollution Control Officer of Phoenix, said that the waste material gathered from the shoreline was bunker oil which they do not produce.

"We were able to collect two drums of mixed debris, water lilies covered with bunker oil and sea water along the docking bay and coastline," Intia said.

Intia explained that they were able to contain the oil spill since Wednesday evening and no negative effects were recorded on the incident.

Meanwhile, Sangangbayan said that they are now conducting an oil fingerprinting of the brownish liquid they gathered from the sea and the oil sample they collected from the vessels M/V Hue-Sheng and M/T Chelsea Thelma, docked near the shoreline of Barangay Baclutan.

They have yet to determine the origin of the oil spill pending the result of their oil fingerprinting.