DoE vows to contain oil spill in Oriental Mindoro

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The Department of Energy (DoE) has vowed to contain an oil spill from a power plant that affected an eight-hectare farmland in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement on Thursday night that the DoE is scrambling to contain the damage brought about by the incident by closely coordinating with concerned government agencies, including the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB).

“The DoE is also working on how to secure the oil and power supply requirements to protect the welfare of consumers in the area following the disruption caused by the oil spill,” Cusi added.

The Energy chief said it has directed the concerned industry players to provide regular updates on the containment activities, as well as the information pertaining to the cause of the oil spill.

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The DENR-EMB said it will look into all possible violations of environmental standards.

Meanwhile, the DoE, together with the National Electrification Administration, National Power Corp. and local officials, will conduct this week a comprehensive performance assessment and audit of the entire power sector system and facilities in the province.

The DoE reiterated that industry players should adhere to protocols outlined in its circular that mandates all operations of oil rigs or platforms, power plants, oil tankers and barges carrying, producing and/or utilizing crude oil-based products to report all oil spills or environmental incidents to them within eight hours for verbal/preliminary report and 48 hours for written report.

Earlier reports mentioned that 800 liters of bunker oil spilled from the DMCI Power Corp. in Barangay Santa Isabel in Calapan City and spread to neighboring creek and ricefields.

The spill, which happened on Monday, was traced to a defective alarm system that alerts plant authorities on impending overflow.

In a statement, DMCI said it would look into the incident very seriously as its investigation is ongoing.

Jordeene Lagare

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