CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard Northern Mindanao (PCG-NM) said they are investigating the oil spill that occurred on the seaport of Barangay Macabalan as efforts are continuing to clean up the spillage.
The oil spill was first reported to authorities Thursday morning by crew members of the ships docked at the Macabalan port. As of Friday, the oil spill has been contained.
Ensign Jerich Ybañez, PCG-NM spokesperson, said their Marine Environmental Protection Unit contained the spill by retrieving the oil through absorbent pads and cordoning the area with “spill boom,” a floating barrier used to contain an oil spill.
About 210 liters of concentrated and diluted oil had been collected from the spill, he said.
Ybañez said they are now tracing the source of the spill through collecting samples from the spill and from shipping lines docked at the port.
“We have collected samples from the oil spill. As of the moment, we have yet to pinpoint [the culprit] but we are conducting an investigation,” he said.
“There is a ‘footprint’ and we are going to take the ‘footprint’ of what we have collected. From there we will know where the oil came from,” Ybañez added.
During the clean-up on Thursday, the PCG noted ships coming from Vietnam unloading tons of imported rice onto waiting for cargo trucks.
The naval officer said that once they could trace the source of the spill, they will prepare a complaint with sanctions and penalties to follow.
Commander Jonie Belarmino, head of the PCG-NM’s MEPU, said the oil spill could have an adverse effect on the marine life such as fish, corals, and mangroves if it was not contained.
He said the spill has reached a stretch one nautical mile or 1.852 kilometers when it was first reported.
Belarmino appealed to shipping line operators to be mindful of their actions that could impact the environment such as discharging wastes in bodies of water.
“Ship operator and seafarers are all aware that disposing of oil into the sea is strictly prohibited. It is our responsibility to take care of our oceans,” he added. (davaotoday.com)