Fisherfolks in MisOr fear effects of oil spill

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Residents of Barangay Lower Jasaan, Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental, have expressed concern that oil spill caused by the sinking of an old cargo ship could affect the livelihood of the village’s fisherfolk.

The boat was identified as MV Racal IV, a cargo vessel that had been docked at a local shipyard in Lower Jasaan five years ago.

Residents are worried that the shells and other marine resources they used to consume will be affected due to the incident.

Fisherfolks are known to collect sea shells and other weeds for food and others for livelihood.

The Phil. Coast Guard here revealed that the ship sank early Saturday morning, there are reports however, that prior to the incident , the captain reported a hull breach which can siphon seawater.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Moncayo, acting chief of the PCG’s Marine Environment Protection Force based in Misamis Oriental said, a salvage company has asked permission to “pump out” remaining fluids and oil inside the vessel before they scrap it.

Authorities learned that the ship has been docked due to some problems until a new owner purchased it and used the same which led to the accident.

“I told them (salvage company) to put spill booms around the vessel as requirement before we could allow them to conduct a ‘pump out,’ but it sank before the salvaging company could comply with the requirement,” Moncayo said.

The still unknown owner, Moncayo said, can be held liable for violation of Republic Act 9275 or the Clean Water Act for the oil spill.

Moncayo has also confirmed of an oil discharge during the sinking.

The oil spill affected the coastline villages namely: Luz Banson, Kimaya, Lower Jasaan, and Upper Jasaan.

Sabas Tagarda Jr., chairman of Lower Jasaan, in a phone interview Sunday, April 4, said the recent oil spill is more serious than the previous incidents,

Tagarda said he has already advised residents not to bathe or go fishing until the spill is full contained.

As of Sunday afternoon, Sabas said they were able to collect about 2,000 liters of a mixture of seawater and oil using sawdust and mosquito net.

“It is simple yet effective. So far, we were able to collect almost half of the oil in my area of responsibility,” Sabas said, adding that it is his hope that other village leaders will follow this method.

To contain the slippage, the authorities have installed pill booms around Lower Jasaan’s coastal area aside from putting nets with saw dust to contain the oil.

In February, residents of the coastal villages in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental witnessed the discoloration of the shoreline which later turned out to be algae transformation,

Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental are located opposite to each other with Zamboanga Peninsula seawaters as the boundary-Jigger Jerusalem

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