Oil spill alert in north coastal Bohol area


Governor Edgar Chatto has alerted officials in the northern coastal towns as he ordered an immediate investigation into reports a ship passing off the Bien Unido municipal waters was spotted dumping oil and waste materials.

Provincial administrator Alfonso Damalerio III through the Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) is now conducting an investigation and inquiry on the reported waste dumping from M/V Elizabeth which local residents in said town fear would cause a major oil pollution.

The governor was informed by Bien Unido Mayor Niño Rey Boniel who already tasked local police to investigate the reports of coastal residents regarding an “oil spill” coming from the said vessel.

Boniel who sought assistance from the governor after police confirmed of the dumped waste from the ship.

As of presstime, BEMO head Leonilo Lafuente and several personnel are at the scene of the oil spill, which is somewhere the island-barangay of Bilangbilangan Daku, Bien Unido.

Based on the report of C/Insp. Felicito Injog Garcia, Bien Unido Police chief, at around 7 p.m. last January 6, oil from the said vessel was dumped into the sea which caused “panic to the islanders.”

The initial police probe revealed that M/V Elizabeth “deliberately dumped/splashed its waste or used oil into the sea”.

“When the oil was scattered on the sea it was most probably carried and swept away by the waves and current towards the northern part of the island of Bilangbilangan Dako of this town,” Garcia said. During high tide, the oil spread reached the shoreline of the island, he said.

While Garcia considers the incident “quite manageable” the governor has ordered immediate investigation as this may pose threat to marine life and the life of residents in the nearby islands and northern coastal towns whose main livelihood is largely dependent on fishing.

The governor said further investigation is needed to clarify the incident, determine evidences, and let those responsible be held liable.

Indiscriminate garbage and toxic disposal along sea waters is prohibited and those responsible could be held liable for creating major hazards to human health and the environment.

 


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