Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Another vessel dumps oily mess in Subic Bay

By Cecille Garcia - Manila Standard Today

OLONGAPO CITY—Authorities yesterday reported an oil spill off Subic Bay polluting 7 km of coastline and beaches fronted by hotels and other tourism establishments.

Mayor James Gordon ordered the spill contained, including the sludge that washed up on the coast of Barretto village, the hardest hit.

He sought help from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority to track down the still unidentified vessel that “foolishly” unloaded used bunker oil off Subic Bay, threatening marine life and Subic’s travel industry.

The authority’s initial investigation showed that the spill covered about 5,000 sqm and was slowly moving out toward Grande Island, threatening its resorts and commercial fishpens.

“It appeared to be sludge oil pumped out from the bilge of a passing vessel,” said Perfecto Pascual, general manager of the authority’s Seaport department.

A private firm, Coastal Petroleum, has provided a spill boom to help contain the slick.

A local fisherman found ruptured plastic bags floating off Subic Bay near Barretto, and they appeared to have contained the sludge that was released after they burst. The sludge now threatened the beaches, officials said.

“Most of the beaches are not suited for swimming and water sports activities for tourists,” Barangay Chairman Carlito Baloy said as he ordered the beaches closed temporarily.

He said business establishments including hotels were complaining that most of their guests had decided to check out as a result of the oil spill.

“We have already received cancellation of room reservations,” said a hotel manager who asked not to be named. With Butch Gunio

1 Comments:

  • SBMA has patrol boats supposed to cover the Subic Bay area. Their presence alone can deter ships passing by from throwing garbage and other pollutants, unless SBMA does not really patrol the area.

    By Anonymous Mon San Juan, at 8/26/2006 7:30 PM  

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