Speed up Iloilo oil spill clean-up, contractor told

ILOILO – Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. urged the contractor to hasten their clean-up operation to truly contain the oil spill in six coastal barangays in Estancia and Batad towns here as early as possible.

Though the capacity of Kuan Yu Global Technologies Inc is being questioned, Defensor said in an interview with the press that the contractor must effectively perform its responsibilities as mandated in their P87-million contract.

Kuan Yu Global Technologies Inc. headed by Karl Ignatius P. Young was hired by Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) to siphon off the remaining oil from dislodged Power Barge 103 of National Power Corp.

The 35-megawatt power barge that has a fuel capacity of 1.4 million liters has spilled an estimated 865,000 liters of bunker fuel onto the shores of Barangay Botongon in Estancia as of Monday, according to Commodore Athelo Ybañez of Philippine Coast Guard in Western Visayas.

Of the estimated figure, 150,000 liters were washed ashore and at least 137,000 liters have been recovered so far, added Ybañez. Based on their previous meeting, Ybañez said that the contractor has to transfer some 220,000 liters usable banker fuel from NAPOCOR’s Power Barge 103 in Estancia to Power Barge 101 located in Iloilo City by December 6, 2013.

The contractor also assured them to refloat and towed the power barge by that time and finished the clean-up after three months or February 26, 2014 to be exact.

“But as much as possible, the governor insisted that the contractor has to complete their work before the given timeline so that the displaced villagers could return to their homes,” Ybañez said.

Meanwhile, Young appealed for understanding and patience if their clean-up operation appears slow. He also belied the allegations that the company has no relevant experiences as to oil spill management and response.

“It is not true. Our company was among those that were hired to contain the oil spill in Guimaras and Semirara Island in Antique last 2006,” he stressed. On their part, Atty. Danielle-Anne Rubinos, Chief of Staff of PSALM President and CEO Emmanuel R. Ledesma Jr., vowed to take full responsibility of the oil spill clean-up operation and impose sanctions in case the contractor failed to do its work. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)


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