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PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Local DRRMC closely monitoring oil spill of sunken vessel

by Pilar S. Mabaquiao

SAN JOSE, Antique, Jan 28 (PIA) -- The Local Disaster Risk Reduction Council in all levels, from the province, Municipality of San Jose and the 12 neighboring barangays are closely monitoring the sunken ship MV Seaford II on the possible oil spill despite report of the Philippine Coast Guard that oil spill is not yet a threat as of yesterday.

In a press conference with the members of the local DRRMC, Lt. Glen Daraug, chief of the Philippine Coast Guard here said that oil spill is not yet a threat to the area where the ship sunk, however, the community needs to be prepared in a worst case scenario.

In fact, he said, the oil spill boom of Philippine Coast Guard from Iloilo is already on standby, but latest monitoring showed that the oil sheen monitored a day after the ship sunk slowly evaporated maybe due to the favorable sunny weather condition.

Likewise, the local DRRMC has agreed to fabricate an improvised oil spill boom made of hay, bamboo and nets in case an oil spill occurs.

It is also reported that aside from 35,000 bags of cement from Misamis Oriental bound to Lipata Port, Culasi north of Antique, the said cargo ship also carries 7,000 liters of diesel fuel.

Daraug likewise reported that the crew of MV Seaford II told them that on the morning of January 22 the valve of the main tank was closed.

On the other hand, the Department of Trade and Industry assured that supply and prices of cement in northern Antique are not affected by the loss of supply from the sunken ship. Concerned businessmen has taken augmentation measures from Iloilo City to fill the gap.

The local DRRMC convened to talk about the possible implications of the incident to the neighboring barangays were most of the livelihood activities depend on sea waters for fishing and salt-making including the fact that the shoreline of San Jose is one among the tourist destination in the province.

Municipal Administrator Florante Moscoso urged Seaford Shipping Lines, owner of the MV Seaford II to speed up the salvaging operations especially of the diesel fuel to prevent further damage in the coral reefs which has great implications to livelihood activities of the communities in the area.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan according to SP Member Victor Condez will conduct legislative inquiry on this matter while the Board of Marine Inquiry is set to convene today in Iloilo City to ferret out the truth re the incident. (JCM/PSM/PIA6 Antique)

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