Legarda Wants Batangas Coal Spill Probed By SenateAugust 11, 2010
SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY RECOMMENDED THROUGH THE FILING OF P. S. RESOLUTION NO. 71 THAT A JOINT SENATE INQUIRY BY THE COMMITTEES ON ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES AND PUBLIC SERVICES ON THE COAL SPILL INCIDENT IN BARANGAY WAWA, NASUGBU, BATANGAS BE CONDUCTED.
“On July 14, at the height of Typoon Basyang, a Manila-bound barge, loaded with 8,000 metric tons of coal, broke as it was being towed and drifted to the shallow waters of Brgy. Wawa, Nasugbu, Batangas, spilling 40% of its contents. The barge owned by Indonesian firm, PT Transpower Marine was towed due to overloading as its gross tonnage capacity was only 3,233 metric tons.”
“The residents of Nasugbu and its local officials have expressed concern on the possible impacts of the coal spill on Batangas Bay’s marine life that could damage coral and sea grass areas.”
Legarda said the affected community is also worried about the possible health implications of the coal spill, as well as its impact on their livelihoods.
The Chairwoman of the Senate Oversight Committee on Climate Change said, “There is a risk of fish kill in the area due to the amount of carbon disposed within the waters of Batangas Bay. This carbon could block the PH level of the water and cause fish kill.”
“This incident was preceded by several oil spills this year in Calatagan, Batangas; Rosario, Cavite; Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and Poro Point, La Union.”
Legarda cited Article II Section 16 of the Constitution which provides that, “The State shall protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature”
“Why was the barge overloaded with coal? Who allowed it to sail? Who is on top of the clean up of the coal spill? Was there help in the form of medical and livelihood assistance extended to the residents of Barangay Wawa? Why have incidences of oil spills suddenly increased? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered,” Legarda concluded.