• Safety checks sought on Batangas oil, gas installations

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    House Deputy Minority Leader and Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. has urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to immediately check the safety of all oil and gas installations in Southern Luzon, citing the April 8 tremors in Batangas. The lawmaker urged the DOE to require oil and gas systems in Batangas to promptly submit status reports on the integrity of their facilities and on the post-quake safety checks that they have performed. Campos is author of a bill that seeks to empower the country’s fire officers as “fully trained and certified first responders” to all disasters, including earthquakes, just like in highly developed countries. Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. operates an upgraded 110,000-barrel per day oil refinery in Batangas City, while Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. also runs a terminal in Calaca town. In February 2016 a marine-fed liquefied petroleum gas depot of South Pacific Inc. at Phoenix Petroterminals and Industrial Park in Calaca was hit by a massive fire, forcing the evacuation of residents nearby. The multiple tremors in Batangas and nearby parts of Luzon form part of a “swarm” that could last for days or even weeks, Science Undersecretary and Director Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Volcanolgy and Seismology said on ANC’s Dateline Philippines.

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