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PIA Press Release

Commentary: SOS a precedent for IOPC

Iloilo City (31 October) -- The approval in principle of the siphoning of the remaining oil from the sunken MT Solar I that would cost between eight to ten million dollars, established a precedent for the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund according to Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas, Secretary Rafael Coscolluela.

Even the IOPC assembly which was held last October 23 said the Philippine case established a precedent because IOPC was most pro active this time and that they were working closely with those affected which made things move faster.

The Presidential Assistant said it was the first time that the IOPC agreed to compensate even before the claim was made because they saw conditions firsthand. Coscolluela said it was very necessary to get IOPC's approval before the siphoning so that we would not suffer the same fate as Spain.

In the case of Spain, they conducted recovery operations before IOPC gave its approval and after studying the matter, they disapproved the claim, where Spain already spent several millions of dollars.

In the case of the Solar I Oil spill, Secretary Coscolluela said they would rather be slow but sure in answer to criticisms that things are moving very slow. It was also decided during the IOPC meeting, Coscolluela said that the siphoning would start in January, considering the weather, technical, legal and other considerations. Besides, the IOPC said there is no immediate threat, but only a matter of time.

The first part would consist of the mobilization which would involved the making of a detailed work program, putting together personnel and resources which would take from 30 to 45 days, which the actual operations would take about 30 days. (PIA 6) [top]

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