Press Release
August 13, 2013

Villar calls for stricter regulation to prevent oil spills

Sen. Cynthia Villar deplored the oil spill affecting parts of Manila Bay after a submerged pipeline of an oil company leaked off the coast of Cavite last week.

While Petron Corporation has already owned up to the oil spill, Villar said the government should still investigate in order to determine the cause of the leak.

"The Department of Environment and Natural Resources as well as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources should investigate and uncover the extent of the damage of the oil spill, its causes and the steps we need to take immediately to prevent oil spills from happening again," Villar said.

The Nacionalista Party senator said there is a need to have a stricter monitoring system on the oil companies' installations and its operations.

She added the incident should be able to tell the government what regulations are lacking and what are the factors making the country vulnerable to this kind of environmental tragedy.

"There should be a counterpart effort from the government to ensure that these companies are adhering to regulations. We should not let these companies do their own inspection and we'll just wait for and believe the reports they submit," Villar said.

Villar recalled that a similar incident involving oil companies happened last year, when some 10,000 liters of diesel leaked into the sea in La Union.

Villar, proponent of the United Nations recognized Las Pinas-Zapote River Rehabilitation Program, said oil spills should not be taken lightly especially because studies suggest its effects could extend up to two generations.

"It has catastrophic effects on marine life and on people living in the coastlines who depend on the sea for their livelihood," she said, adding cleaning up operations should be completed as soon as possible.

Yesterday, Philippine Coast Guard divers found the leak in a submerged Petron pipeline causing oil spill in at least four Cavite coastal towns.

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