Caluya town under state of calamity due to oil spill

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Caluya town under state of calamity due to oil spill

DEFENSE. Semirara Mining and Power Corp workers help create an improvised oil spill boom to minimize the effects of the oil slick that has spread from Oriental Mindoro to Semirara island and Caluya in Antique province.

Courtesy of Catherine Lim

University of the Philippines-Visayas creates a task force to help Western Visayas respond to the environmental threat from sunken oil tanker MT Princess Empress

ANTIQUE, Philippines – The local government of Caluya declared the island town in Antique province under state of calamity on Monday, March 6 due to massive devastation brought about by the effects of oil spill.

In a copy of the resolution no. 31, Junby Domingo, acting secretary to the Sangguniang Bayan, said the town council approved Resolution No. 31 during its special session on Monday afternoon.

The resolution immediately takes effect, he said.

“Oil spills have already reached the  shoreline of Sitio Sabang in Barangay Tinogboc, Taong, Banua Proper and Sitio Balibago all in Barangay Semirara. Also, Sitio Liwagao in Barangay Sibolo, this town,” the council resolution noted..

Earlier, Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao estimated that Caluya’s seaweed industry had suffered damage worth millions of pesos .

The council said residents, fishermen, shell collectors and seaweed farmers along the coast of affected areas , and also those from Barangays Alegria, Sibato, Sibala and Imbo depend heavily on the affected coastal waters for their livelihood.

The body also mentioned the potential for environmental and health hazards from the oil spill.

Caluya’s move followed the declaration on Monday of a heightened alert in Malay town, which oversees the famous tourism island of Boracay.

Meanwhile, in a statement, University of the Philippines-Visayas Chancellor Clement C. Camposano announced the creation of a task force to respond to the oil spill that followed the sinking in Tablas Strait of the MT Princess Empress on February 28.

The oil tanker from Limay, Bataan was bound for Iloilo, carrying 800,000 liters of industrial oil.

The task force is headed by UPV oil spill expert Professor Resurreccion Sadaba, PhD and co-chaired by Professor Alice Joan G. Ferrer, PhD, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will contribute its expertise for technical advisory services, and coordinate with local governments and other agencies in assessing the damage to habitat of marine life, and the socio-economic impact of the disaster on local populations.

Sadaba conducted a study on the Guimaras Oil Spill in 2006.

The task force will have three major teams: the Biophysical Team, Socio-Economic and Health Team, and the Communications and Coordination Team.

The Biophysical Team is composed of Sadaba, Prof. Wilfredo Campos, Prof. Encarnacion Emilia Yap, Prof. Mae Grace Nillos, Prof. Harold Monteclaro, Assoc. Prof. Marie Frances Nievales, Assoc. Prof. Victor Marco Emmanuel Ferriols, Assoc. Prof. Ramer Bautista, Assoc. Prof. Sheila Mae Santander-de Leon, Assoc. Prof. Karen Villarta-Lane, Asst. Prof. Cristy Acabado, Asst. Prof. Jonalyn Mateo, Alan Dino Moscoso, and Anne Brigette Ledesma.

The Socio-Economic and Health Team is made up of Prof. Ferrer, Prof. Gay Defiesta, Assoc. Prof. Cheryl Joy Fernandez-Abila, Assoc. Prof. Reynold Tan, Asst. Prof. Serafin Malecosio, and Asst. Prof. Adrienne Marrie Bugayong-Janagap.

Meanwhile, the Communications and Coordination Team is composed of Ms. Gerthrode Charlotte Tan-Mabilog, Anna Razel Ramirez, and Asst. Prof. Jonevee Amparo. –

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