>> Wednesday, February 29, 2012
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Environmentalists have raised alarm on the extent of the oil spill here at Poro Point bay and pushed for an investigation saying those responsible should be held responsible.
This, as Chief Supt. Franklin J.B. Bucayu, Ilocos police regional director, said his men have been deployed in the area to assist the Coast Guard District Northwestern Luzon to help contain the oil spill and secure the area.
The oil spill began Tuesday while Marine Tanker (M/T) Panglao Island, docked at Pier 1 of Poro Point, was reportedly discharging automotive diesel oil (ADO) to the depot of Chevron Phils, Inc.
“Since this is automotive diesel oil, it evaporates easily and disperses in salt water. There is not much adverse effect since the quantity of the ADO spilled was less than 10,000 liters,” said Coast Guard Capt. George Ursabia.
But environmentalists and local folk said the spill could have negative effects on marine life considering that the area is also fishing grounds of constituents who sell their catch in the province posing health risks.
Residents said the spill could also affect tourism in the area as visitors would stay away knowing the sea was “poisoned” by oil and not fit for swimming, boating or other activities.
They said Chevron Phils. Inc. should be responsible enough in addressing the damage and do necessary clean-up activities so that the image of the area as a tourism site would not be adversely damaged.
Poro Point hosts a casino and has numerous beach resorts in the vicinity.
With the coming summer season, a lot of tourists are expected to flock in the area but with the oil spill, the number of visitors could diminish, observers said. – Alfred Dizon and Freddie G. Lazaro