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PIA Press Release

BFAR assures safety of fish from open seawaters of Guimaras, Panay Gulf

Iloilo City (5 September) -- Fish caught in open waters of Guimaras and Panay Gulf are safe for human consumption.

This was assured by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources VI (BFAR VI) after the results of the laboratory evaluation they conducted last September 4, 2006 on all the samples of various fish species caught from Guimaras Strait and Panay Gulf that landed in the coastal municipalities of the province of Guimaras were found to be negative for bunker oil.

The BFAR has been tasked to conduct sampling on fish and other marine products for food quality laboratory analysis after the MT Solar I oil spill has threatened to contaminate the seawaters of Guimaras and the Panay Gulf.

On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture (DA) 6 reported that their initial soil sampling and analysis to determine the effect of the oil spill on soil conducted in 14 priority barangays in the province of Guimaras last August 30, 2006 showed negative effects on the soil fertility for crop production.

The 27 soil samples were taken in the 12 barangays of the municipality of Nueva Valencia and in two barangays of Sibunag, said DA 6 Soil Laboratory Chief Helen Maquiling.

The barangays where the soil samples were taken are: Barangays Igang, Magamay, Tando, Dolores, Tandaraonan, Lapaz, San Roque, Lucmayan, Cabalagnan, Canhawan, Igdarapdap and San Antonio in Nueva Valencia town and Alegria and San Isidro in Sibunag.

Maquiling said another round of soil sampling was done last August 31 and the result of which is due to come out soon.

The DA leads the group tasked for soil sampling and analysis. Currently, five task groups are going around in the affected areas in the province of Guimaras to conduct assessment on the damage caused by the solar oil spill.

The government has assured the affected families that it will sustain all socio-economic interventions until the communities are out of harm's way. (PIA) [top]

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