THE Manila city government on Wednesday shut down the private fuel depot in Pandacan that had leaked oil into the Pasig River.
Manila’s Risk Reduction Chief Gilbert Celestino, Bureau of Permits Licensing Officer Richard Zacharias, Manila Police Station 6 Commander SPO1 Aurencio Sedanto and representatives from the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fire handed the closure order to Mark Anthony Co, who said he represents the owner of Larraine’s Marketing, the company which runs the depot.
In the closure order, the owner of the depot was identified as Ma. Theresa Enriquez.
Celestino said the representatives of the depot owner were “cooperative and were willing to comply” with the closure order.
“The agreement is to conduct another hydro testing this week to make that the spill really came from storage tank 9,” Celestino said. The first test was made earlier this week.
He added that Larraine’s management will conduct its own investigation.
Larraine’s had blamed the spill on sabotage but Sedanto said government probers have ruled out that angle.
Zacharias said Larraine’s can reopen after they secure the necessary permits and pay the corresponding fines.
He said the company has a permit to sell raw and bunker oil “but they don’t have permit to store and sell used oil and diesel . . . They don’t have sanitation permit, zoning permit, its certification from DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] is expired, no application for fire safety inspection.”
There were also electrical problems, Zacharias said.
Residents of Santa Ana and neighboring Paco district complained of smelling a foul odor on Saturday. A team from the Coast Guard, BFP and city government authorities found the smell to be from oil that has contaminated the Pasig.
The spill was traced to Larraine’s Marketing storage tank no. 9 which had approximately 1,500 liters of used oil.
There were 30 storage tanks in the Larraine compound beside the river. Each tank can hold at least 44,000 liters of fuel.