Families affected by Iloilo oil spill return home, receive food packs

ILOILO CITY - All 308 families affected by the oil spill in Lapuz this city are happy to be back home after spending 2 weeks in evacuation centers. The gradual reintegration of the community was finally completed after a thorough evaluation to ensure that the parameters set by the multi-stakeholder task force are met.

The reintegration was done in four batches with the 70 families from Brgy. Mansaya as the first group to go home. They were followed by the 102 families from Brgy. Obrero Zone 2 who were sent home last July 16. The 136 families affected in Brgy. Obrero Zone 3 were divided into two groups and were allowed to go home last July 17 and 18.

The multi-sectoral task force is composed of representatives from the affected barangays, Iloilo City government, Philippine Coast Guard, AC Energy Philippines and its consultant AECOM Philippines, other government agencies, and Harbor Star Shipping Services Inc, the cleanup contractor of the oil spill.

As part of its commitment, AC Energy Philippines also collaborated with the barangay officials of Loboc, Mansaya and Obrero, and distributed a total of 2,350 food packs to affected households.

Presentation of Guimaras Action Plan

Last Saturday, July 18, AC Energy Philippines and AECOM Philippines presented to Guimaras Governor Samuel T. Gumarin and Vice Governor Atty. John Edward G. Gando the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) that they formulated with the help of DENR and other government agencies.

The EMP strongly focuses on critical points set by the DENR, which are the: (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 together with AECOM also explained during the gathering their use of Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique (SCAT) as a spill assessment update and criteria tool. SCAT is an internationally-recognized method to survey and document the impact of spills on shorelines, and to assess efficiency of fisheries and mangrove rehabilitation. It is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of cleanup efforts and conduct post-cleanup inspections.

The EMP was also presented in separate meetings with Jordan Mayor Ruben Corpuz, Congresswoman Ma. Lucille Nava and JC Rahman A. Nava, former congressman.