Ship companies, DENR7 discuss pay for oil damage

Marigold Lebumfacil (The Freeman) - August 23, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 has called for a technical conference today to determine the mechanism for the immediate payment of the damage the oil spill has brought to at least 328 hectares of mangrove areas.

DENR-7 Director Isabelo Montejo said they invited the officials of the shipping companies concerned for a conference so they can come up with an agreement for the rehabilitation of the ruined mangrove areas in Cordova and Lapu-Lapu City.

It would take three to four months to remove the oil slick, according to Montejo, adding that there is a need to fast track the implementation of measures to clean these up.

“Mangroves are critical in ensuring healthy nursery grounds for fish, prawns and crabs and support fisheries production in coastal waters,” Montejo said.

A concern on the volume of fish-catch should be properly addressed if the oil spill continues to persist in the next months, Montejo says.

DENR-7 spokesperson Ed Llamedo said the mangroves protect the coastal areas and communities from storm surges, waves, tidal currents and typhoons, as well as produce organic biomass and reduce pollution.

The DENR 7 imposes a damage compensation of P6.56 million,  or at  P20,000 per hectare assessment, on affected mangrove areas contracted by the 10 people’s organizations (POs) under the integrated coastal resource management project (ICRMP).

Also, the seven-member quick response team (QRT) led by Coastal and Marine Management division (CMMD) chief Edmondo Arregadas assessed about 115 hectares of damaged ‘natural stand’ mangrove areas.

‘Natural stand’ mangrove areas are those mangrove areas which have been planted before 2009 or before the ICRMP, said Llamedo.

These areas will be considered for computation for the damage compensation if these mangroves will not be rehabilitated or cleaned up immediately.

The amount will be paid after a conclusion of the probe conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard and the Maritime Industry Authority on which company is liable and responsible for the oil spill.

The notice of technical conference which was signed by Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) 7 Regional Director William Cunado will be held at 2:00 PM today.

Nine barangays in Cordova were listed as severely hit: Bangbang, Buagsong, Day-as, Catarman, Poblacion, Alegria, Gabi, Pilipog, and San Miguel, and barangays Calawisan, Babag, and Suba-basbas, all in Lapu-Lapu City. (FREEMAN)

AREAS COASTAL AND MARINE MANAGEMENT CORDOVA AND LAPU-LAPU CITY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES DIRECTOR ISABELO MONTEJO ED LLAMEDO EDMONDO ARREGADAS ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU LAPU-LAPU CITY MONTEJO
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