‘Big 3’ oil firms exit Pandacan in 2016

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Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada on Wednesday announced that the Pandacan oil depot will be out of the district by June next year.

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Estrada made the announcement after receiving from Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 39 Judge Noli Diaz copies of relocation plans of oil companies known as the “Big 3”—Petron Corp., Chevron Philippines and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.—in compliance with a Supreme Court (SC) order.

He said Robert Bernardo of the City Engineering Office will review the plans and report to him the findings and recommendations.

“All these activities are being done in compliance with the SC order for the mayor to oversee the relocation of the terminals in Pandacan, and to make sure that the risk of an explosion or a gas leak will be removed,” Estrada added.

He thanked civil society groups Advocates of Environmental Social Justice and Santo Niño de Pandacan Parish Pastoral Council; members of the academe from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Mapua Institute of Technology and Universidad de Manila; barangay chairmen of Zone 91; Manila City Division Schools; non-government organizations (NGOs); and city officials who helped campaign for the relocation of the oil depot.

Estrada on May 22 created the Technical Compliance Monitoring Group on the Pandacan Oil Depot headed by Bernardo with Luch Gemphis, secretary of the City Council, as vice chairman. Members are officials of the City Planning and Development Office and Manila Health Department, among others.

Earlier, last May 20, the mayor was briefed by experts from Environmental Management Bureau on hazards of removing the oil depot.

The Supreme Court, last March 10, denied with finality all motions for reconsiderations of the three oil firms.

On November 25, 2014, it ordered the Manila city government to stop enforcing Ordinance 8187, which had allowed the continued stay of the Pandacan oil depot.

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