A year after the Supreme Court ordered their relocation, oil companies in Pandacan, Manila have started dismantling their depots on Monday.
Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada went to the site yesterday morning to witness the moving out of three tankers of Pilipinas Shell to Tabangao town in Batangas province.
“It takes at least two to three days to dismantle a tank. Today, three tanks had been dismantled. Eleven more are standing,” said Edgar Chua, country chairman of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.
Ramon Ang, chief executive officer of Petron Philippines, said his company has finished dismantling its tanks. Petron moved its facilities to Limay in Bataan, Rosario in Cavite and in Navotas City in Metro Manila.
Chevron has 40 percent complied with the demobilization.
The three oil firms have until November this year to vacate the 33-hectare facility.
The high court in November last year declared Manila Ordinance 8187 that allowed three oil firms to keep their facilities unconstitutional.
Estrada vowed that not one worker in the three depots will end up jobless.
He said several high-rise condominiums will rise in the area. Commercial establishments will also be built to cater to the new residents.
Ang said his firm has proposed to develop the property into a food complex. He added that his company will test the soil to make sure that there will be no traces of oil.
“We will conduct soil investigation to make sure that it has been cleaned,” he told reporters.
Although they have been ordered to move out, the three oil firms still own the vacated lots.