UP Visayas scientists monitor environmental impact of Iloilo & Guimaras oil spill areas

Published September 21, 2021, 1:37 PM

by Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY — More than a year after a power barge caused an oil spill, scientists from University of the Philippines (UP Visayas) are monitoring the environmental impact at the coastal areas of both Iloilo City and Guimaras province.

The UP Visayas and UP Visayas Foundation Inc. has a created a team led by Dr. Resurreccion “Rex” Sadaba to quarterly assess and monitor the environmental impact after oil leaked out from the power barge that was damaged by an explosion incident in Iloilo City last July 2020.

The power barge owned by AC Energy Corp., a subsidiary of the Ayala group, initially just affected the coastal villages in Iloilo City including Barangays Bo. Obrero and Loboc.

Some of the oil-contaminated waste collected along a mangrove area in Iloilo City after the July 3, 2020 oil spill from a damaged power barge. (Tara Yap/File/Manila Bulletin)

But the water current of Iloilo Strait swept the oil spillage to coastal villages of Jordan and Buenavista towns in Guimaras province.

Sadaba’s team that includes Prof. Emilia Encarnacion Yap, Dr. Mae Grace Nillos and Feby Carmen are focusing on the mangroves affected.

While no massive damage was recorded a year after the oil spill incident, there’s a need for further study.

The team will not only monitor the mangroves in the identified areas, but will also monitor the sediments and shellfishes found under the bottom of the water.

UP Visayas is collaborating with both government and private partners in the study.