Press Release
November 20, 2010

Pia hails SC's first 'Writ of Kalikasan'

Senator Pia S. Cayetano today lauded the Supreme Court for issuing its very first 'Writ of Kalikasan' and temporary environmental protection order (Tepo) to address the environmental hazards caused by the massive oil pipeline leak in Makati City.

Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said the landmark move indicates the high tribunal's readiness to respond to legal issues brought before it that concern the environment.

"I laud the Supreme Court for ordering the indefinite shutdown of the 177-kilometer pipeline of the FPIC following the massive underground oil leak it caused in Brgy. Bangkal, Makati," she said.

"By taking affirmative action on the 'Writ of Kalikasan' petition of West Tower residents, the high court correctly upheld concerns for environmental protection and public safety over industrial profit and warnings of an extreme gas shortage in Metro Manila."

At the same time, Cayetano said the oil leak should prompt a review of the urban planning and zoning schemes of local governments in Metro Manila and adjoining provinces to address the current crisis and to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

"The incident highlights the urgency to review the urban planning and zoning schemes of local government units and integrating these with the plans of neighboring provinces. This will ensure a sustainable balance between industrial and commercial development with protecting the environment and the safety of residents in mega-cities like Metro Manila."

"Concerned agencies must also devise alternative plans together with the private sector to ensure the unhampered supply of gasoline products in the metropolis with the suspension of the pipeline's operation and the prospect of it being shut down permanently over health and safety issues."

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