The officials of Barangay Banago in Bacolod City are planning to ask the management of Petron if it could extend financial assistance to their fisherfolk whose livelihood has been affected by the reported crude oil leakage from the pipeline of the oil company.
Banago Barangay Captain Arnel Benjamin yesterday said shell gatherers discovered the oil leakage Friday morning in the coastal waters of Banago between Puroks Baybayon and Alalahoy.
He said the Provincial Environment Management Office conducted water sampling in the area yesterday to check if the water is still contaminated with crude oil. The sample will be sent to Iloilo and results of the test will be available after a week.
Benjamin said the oil company representatives cannot yet issue an official statement as of yesterday since they will still meet with higher management.
There has been no assurance on the part of the oil company if it will extend assistance to the affected residents, he said.
Because of the situation, Benjamin said he will request the barangay council to hold a special session on the problem and if they could provide any assistance to the affected residents, especially the shell gatherers who have not been able to gather seashells for four days now.
He said the barangay council may come up with a resolution requesting for financial assistance from the company.
The livelihood of about 200 residents of Banago has been affected since they could not sell their produce until the coastal waters of the barangay are declared free from any oil contamination.
Meanwhile, Benjamin said the oil company has started repairing its pipelines but it will take some time for the seawater to be restored to its normal state.
The oil company has temporary suspended its operations of transferring oil products from their barge to the depot while repairs are being undertaken, he said.*CGS
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