La Union placed under state of calamity due to oil spill
Jun Elias (The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2013 - 12:00am

SAN FERNANDO, La Union , Philippines  â€“ The provincial board of La Union, upon the request of Gov. Manuel Ortega, has approved a resolution placing the province under a state of calamity due to the oil spill.

Vice Gov. Aureo Nisce told The STAR that provincial officials decided to declare a state of calamity to enable local officials in the affected coastal areas to utilize their calamity funds in the cleanup to prevent further damage to the environment.

“This (oil spill) is an immediate concern of the provincial government,” Nisce said.

Local government units are entitled to use five percent of their internal revenue allotment for calamities.  

Adamor Dagang, provincial information officer, said the declaration does not mean that the oil spill is worsening, but is just a preventive action to fund the coastal cleanup and avoid further damage to the environment. 

Dagang said manual cleanup is being conducted in beaches affected by the spillage which has reached Paoay town. 

He reported that the La Union Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants Association has not cancel any bookings due to the oil spill.

“It’s business as usual for resorts and hotels in the province,” he said.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has been coordinating cleanup efforts in the affected areas, while two Coast Guard patrol boats have been monitoring the Lingayen Gulf to determine the extent of the spillage and its path. 

PCG personnel have been deployed since Tuesday to conduct the cleanup. 

Authorities have yet to fully determine if the oil seepage came from the M/V Arita Bauxite, a Myanmar vessel that sank off the coast of Bolinao in Pangasinan last Feb. 17 or from an oil tanker that docked off Bangar, La Union a day after fishermen discovered the spillage.

Sludge samples will be sent to Manila to determine the kind of oil that spilled and trace it to which of the two vessels.

The spillage was first discovered along the shores of this city and in the towns of San Juan, Bacnotan, Luna and Bangar. It later spread to Tagudin, Sta. Cruz, Sta. Lucia, Santiago and San Esteban towns, and Candon City in Ilocos Sur.

 

ADAMOR DAGANG AUREO NISCE CANDON CITY COAST GUARD ILOCOS SUR LA UNION LA UNION HOTELS LINGAYEN GULF LUNA AND BANGAR MANUEL ORTEGA
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