Toxic waste may be destroyed in Finland
- Evelyn Macairan () - September 26, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) administrator Ma. Elena Bautista is set to ask a Manila court to allow the transport of the recovered endosulfan cargo from the sunken

M/V Princess of the Stars

last year to be brought to Finland for destruction.

Bautista, who heads the M/V Princess of the Stars Task Force, said they would ask a Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) next week to allow the transport of the chemicals to Finland.

Both Sulpicio Lines Inc. (SLI), which owned the ill fated ship before it was sold to Royal Jessan Petromin Resources Inc. (RJPRI) last December, and Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) have pending damage suits against each other.

Marina would also ask the court to designate the payment for the shipping cost to SLI and DMPI, as well as the repackaging cost and the disintegration fee to destroy the cargo that could cost from P8 million to P10 million.

“We are asking the court to split the bill between SLI and DMPI, because who would pay for it? The government does not have funds to cover the cost,” Bautista said.

“Actually, the endosulfan could still be used but no one wants to accept them, not even the manufacturers,” she added.

Bautista also nixed the idea of giving the chemicals to lowly farmers because “It seems everybody is afraid of the endosulfan now.”

Endosulfan is a chemical often used by pineapple growers as a pesticide.

She said that since there is an existing Clean Air Act in the country, they would violate the law if the chemicals would be destroyed here.

Old batteries are usually brought to Finland for proper disposition.

Bautista believes that even if the case is still pending before the Manila RTC, the chemicals could be brought out of the country because it has already been properly documented.

The 23,000-ton Princess of the Stars was carrying 400 cargo packs of endosulfan and an estimated 800 passengers and crew on board when it sank on June 21, 2008.

It left the Port of Manila on June 20, 2008 for Cebu but was buffeted by strong winds and waves and heavy rain when it sailed into the eye of typhoon “Frank” before noon the next day.

The turbulence caused the ship to tilt 40 degrees to its port side (left side) and turn over completely upon reaching Sibuyan Island of Romblon province.

The Princess of the Stars, said to be the biggest ship to have sailed the domestic waters, was sold by Sulpicio Lines to RJPRI as scrap material.

The previous salvor company, Harbor Star, hired by Sulpicio terminated phase one and two of the operations, which involved the removal of chemicals and the search and recovery operations of the bodies last Nov. 10.

Only 33 of the passengers and crew have survived, 548 have been confirmed dead and 283 others remain missing.

Among those who perished was the ship’s captain Florencio Marimon Jr.

BAUTISTA BOTH SULPICIO LINES INC CLEAN AIR ACT DEL MONTE PHILIPPINES INC ELENA BAUTISTA FLORENCIO MARIMON JR. HARBOR STAR MANILA REGIONAL TRIAL COURT MARITIME INDUSTRY AUTHORITY PORT OF MANILA PRINCESS OF THE STARS
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with