MANILA, Philippines – The oil spill from a Petron pipeline continues to cripple the fishing industry in Cavite.
Pia Ranada reports.
PIA RANADA, REPORTING: In Barangay Wawa One, Philippine Coast Guard divers are about to go under water to find the source of the leak in the pipeline behind me. But while the investigation continues, the fishermen are eager to move on and return to their livelihood.
On August 8, 500,000 liters of diesel leaked into Manila Bay from a Petron pipeline.
Four days after, red oil slicks still stain the shoreline.
Acrid fumes still invade the homes of fishermen.
MAVY AMOTO, FISHERMAN: Hindi kami makalaot dahil sa oil spill tsaka nagkaroon din ng bagyo. Hindi kami makalaot. Apektado talaga kami dito. (We can’t go off shore because of the oil spill. Then we had a typhoon. We really can’t go off shore. This really affects our livelihood.)
The oil spill paralyzes Cavite’s fishing industry.
In Rosario’s fishing depot, home of the famous Salinas tinapa, buyers continue to snub fish from Cavite.
REBECCA SAGPAO, OWNER OF FISHING COMMISSION: Dati mga 1,300 o 1,200 ngayon naging 700 na lang, 600 eh naging masyado nang malaking epekto na nakakaano dito sa ating fishport. (We use to be able to sell at P1,300 to P1,200. Now we’re down to P700 to P600. It has really affected the sale here in our fish port.)
In the town’s market, vendors are losing money with fish sales at bottom prices.
IRENE PUGAY, FISH VENDOR: Bagsak presyo na, nabebenta na namin nang 80 isang kilo. Syempre, imbis na kami ay kumikita araw-araw pambili ng bigas, wala kaming pambili kasi nga hindi nakakatubo. Laging nalulugi. (We have really brought the prices down. We sell for P80 per kilo. We’re unable to earn enough to buy rice. We don’t get enough profit.)
They claim the fish is as good as ever.
IRENE PUGAY, FISH VENDOR: Sariling huli namin kinakain namin. Talagang walang apektado yan dito…Eh ngayon, hindi pa rin tumataas ang presyo ng isda. Kaya nakakaawa na ang mga mangingisda. (We eat the fish we catch. The oil spill didn’t really have an effect but price of fish has yet to go up. It’s really unfortunate for the fishermen.)
Rosario mayor Jose Ricafrente files a cease and desist order against the Petron oil depot.
JOSE RICAFRENTE, ROSARIO MAYOR: Sabi ko sa Petron, covered na nang order na iyan, hindi niyo pwedeng gamitin yung pipelines na yan kahit irepair niyo, kahit palitan niyo. (We told Petron the order is already covered. They can’t use the pipelines even if they repair or replace it.)
Coast guard divers have yet to find the leak.
But the people of Cavite can’t wait for things to go back to normal.
Pia Ranada, Rappler, Cavite