Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Paradise Lost

More on the oil spill - During her visit, President Arroyo pleaged to make Guimaras "a paradise regained." Incidentally, she wants media to label the disaster "Solar Oil Spill" (earlier I suggested it be called the "Petron Oil Spill"). As part of her PR campaign, the President spent the night in a resort there to demonstrate to tourists that not all beach resorts in Guimaras has been hit by the oil spill. Despite media reports indicating that only 7 out of the 24 resorts in the island province was affected, many vacationers cancelled their bookings to Guimaras. DOT 6 Regional Director Edwin Trompeta estimates that around P3.5 million has been lost to cancelled bookings. In the last four years, resorts in Guimaras reported an increasing trend in revenues. In 2005, revenues reached P20.64 million; P8.2 million in 2004; and P6.1 million in 2003.

More than 3 weeks after the tragedy, a Japanese salvage ship finally arrives in Guimaras. Hired by Petron Corporation, the sonar-equipped and remote-operated vessel of the Japanese firm Fukada Salvage and Marine Works will be undertaking underwater inspection and determine the appropriate strategy for safely retrieving the oil remaining in the sunken Solar 1 tanker as well as re-floating the vessel.

The provincial government of Guimaras has threatened to file a P1billion damage suit against Petron Corp. and owners of the MT Solar I if they fail to remove the sunken tanker and compensate the affected residents. Actually, one Guimaras resort owner has already filed a suit against the owners of MT Solar I.

Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas flip flops on Petron Boycott pronouncement.


Boy Mejorada said...

I think the use of "flip flop" on the Governor's position vis-a-vis Petron Corp. is inappropriate, for it suggests a whimsical change of mind without reason.
The governor is not pressing ahead with his threat to boycott Petron products because the corporation has now shown its commitment to help affected municipalities and started to coordinate with the Iloilo Capitol.
That was the essence of the threatened boycott in the first place --- to force Petron to stop dragging its feet and take action quickly on the problem.
If Petron shows it is not responding to the situation as quickly as local officials would want to see, then certainly boycott will once again become an option.

Iloilo City Boy said...

Well if the intention was just to scare Petron into acting, then it seems Governor Tupas was succesful. But I wonder what will happen to the Sanggunian Resolution asking for the boycott? Will it now be revoked by the Provincial Board?