DENR-EMB reviews rehab plan for Iloilo oil spill

Published July 14, 2020, 11:48 AM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) is reviewing the rehabilitation plan of the energy firm that owned the damaged power barge that triggered an oil spill in Iloilo City last July 3.

Some of the oil-contaminated waste collected along a mangrove area in Iloilo City after the oil spill from a damaged power barge. (Tara Yap/Manila Bulletin)

“The rehabilitation plan is currently under review,” said DENR-EMB Western Visayas Chief Legal Officer Arjunn Calvo.

AC Energy Philippines submitted its rehabilitation plan to DENR-EMB after receiving a notice for violating the Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004, following the July 3 oil spill triggered by an explosion at one of the tanks of its Power Bare 102.

The rehabilitation plan will focus on completing the oil spill cleanup, correct removal and disposal of oil-contaminated wastes, ensuring safe level of water and air quality prior to allowing local residents to go back to their homes, and restoring damaged mangrove and fishery areas.

According to Calvo, personnel from DENR-EMB’s Environmental Monitoring and Enforcement Division were the ones looking at the specific steps laid out by AC Energy.

“They need to see if the rehabilitation plan is correct or if there needs to be additional steps,” Calvo told Manila Bulletin.  

Gabby Mejia, head for plant operations of AC Energy, said the company was going to implement the recommendations that are going to be set by DENR-EMB.

“They are the experts. Of course, we will follow,” Mejia told Manila Bulletin in a separate interview.