In line with the consecutive cases of oil spills, Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino today filed House Resolution No. 136 in the 15th Congress to conduct an investigation on all the petroleum service contracts and pipelines franchises granted by the national government to private oil companies.
“Recent reports of oils spills are most alarming given the impact of the British Petroleum oil spill in the United States and the China National Petroleum Corporation in China. The country has already witnessed and realized the grim effect of income-driven projects such as oil explorations to our seas being a nation with abundant natural resources such as petroleum,” says Palatino.
“Oil leaks in Negros Occidental, La Union, Makati, Cavite and Bataan may be a minuscule picture compared to the mark left at the Gulf of Mexico, which could be seen outer space, but it doesn’t mean that we have to lay our heads back,” warns Palatino, “The more we should be vigilant with issues concerning the environment because compared to the United States and China, who are known world-wide in terms of technological advancement, we are pretty much left behind.”
“We are undeniably rich in terms of natural resources yet we are not the ones who enjoy what is rightfully ours. Private investors, majority of which are foreign companies, are given the liberty to drill and extract black gold from our seabed and lay pipes with the ‘blessing’ of the government. What we need to address is that ‘blessing’ should indicate and ensure that possible massive oil spill and leaks will be prevented or dealt with with minimal hazard to the people and the environment,” he adds.
Palatino cited that “28 million hectares of the Philippines’ territory is covered by 69 petroleum service contracts issued by the Department of Energy as of 2009, including 21 million hectares of critical biodiversity-rich seascapes and marine areas in the Visayan Sea, Bohol Sea, Panay Gulf, Sulu Sea and the Palawan Passage.”
The latest oil spill which amassed hundreds of litres of black gold was the Guimaras Oil Spill where the oil reached as far as the shores of Sorsogon. It was dubbed as the worst oil spill in the Philippines.