MANILA – The Department of Energy (DOE) is closely coordinating with concerned government agencies, such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), following an oil spill of some 800 liters of bunker oil from the DMCI Power Plant in Barangay Sta. Isabel in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro on Wednesday.
DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi has initiated a quick response to contain the situation to reduce the considerable damage to farmlands in the area.
“The DOE is primarily concerned with the safety of the people in the vicinity,” Cusi said. “I have also directed the DOE to coordinate with concerned industry players for regular updates on the containment activities and information on the cause of the oil spill.”
The DOE is now 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, according to the energy chief.
Meanwhile, the DENR, specifically its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), will look into possible violations of environmental standards, which might have caused the incident.
The DOE, along with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and National Power Corp. (NPC) and in coordination with local officials, will conduct a comprehensive performance assessment and audit of the entire power sector system and facilities in Mindoro this week to address the issue.
The DOE emphasized that in incidents like this, protocols to be followed should be in accordance with Department Circular No. 98-02-003 directing 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 the DOE within eight hours for verbal/preliminary report and 48 hours for written report. Albert-Anthony Abando/PNA-northboundasia.com