Iloilo City - AC Energy Philippines has recently submitted to the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) a detailed plan to effectively address the environmental impact of the recent oil spill that occurred last July 3, 2020 when the company’s power barge exploded in Lapuz district's Barrio Obrero.
The Philippine Coast Guard reported that approximately 40,000 liters of oil were spilled, affecting an estimated area of 1,200 square meters.
The submission of the EMP was made during the technical conference hosted by DENR-EMB last July 8. The detailed plan focuses on the following key areas that the government agency has strongly stressed to be addressed including the relevant timeline:
(1) completion of oil spill cleanup and ensuring that water quality is restored to safe levels;
(2) continued monitoring of air quality and ensuring that air quality is safe before affected families are allowed to return to their homes;
(3) proper collection and disposal of oil contaminated materials and wastes; and
(4) rehabilitation plan for the affected mangrove areas and fisheries.
AC Energy Philippines assures that it will continue to work closely and coordinate with the DENR, the local governments of Iloilo City and Guimaras, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and other relevant agencies, to implement the EMP and to take into account comments and recommendations from said LGUs and agencies.
Since the day of the oil spill, AC Energy has demonstrated its commitment by organizing and coordinating with industry and local government several clean-up activities and community assistance. The company is also currently working with the PCG in the search for aquatic pollution.
In news reports, the PCG was said to have filed a criminal complaint against the Ayala-owned company and two of its officers with the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. The company was reportedly sued in violation of Section 107 of Republic Act 8550 (The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998) as amended by RA 10654 for aquatic pollution.
AC Energy has released a statement that it has not received a copy of such complaint, hence, cannot make any specific comment on the issue as of this time. However, it guarantees its full cooperation in working with the PCG and relevant government units and agencies to ensure an efficient oil spill clean-up the soonest time possible. The company further assures the affected communities and groups of its support to address the issues the oil spill has brought upon them.