Filipino fishers urge Manila execs to reject transfer of oil depot
Manila, Philippines —-The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Thursday urged other Metro Manila mayors along the Manila Bay area to reject the transfer of Pandacan oil depot in their respective cities, asserting their residents would face the same clear and present danger posed by the operations of Shell, Chevron and Petron.
“Please allow us to state the fact that aside from being one of the country’s major fishing areas, Manila Bay is a home to 25 million Filipinos. We cannot allow the local governments in the National Capital Region to gamble the lives of our fellow countrymen just to accommodate the operations of the oil cartel. That’s a national foul play,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said in a press statement.
The Pamalakaya leader made the call a day after Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim vowing to church pressure against the continued stay of the oil depot, announced of his plan to veto an amended city ordinance that would allow the oil companies to maintain the oil depot despite its life-threatening presence in Pandacan.
Hicap said he learned last year that one of the alternative plans of the Big 3 operating the Pandacan oil depot is to transfer it to any of the cities in the main capital along the coastline of Manila Bay to effectively carry out the immediate transfer and minimize the cost of transfer.
“This is ridiculous. The oil cartel will not only endanger the lives of million Filipinos, but it will also deliver the death certificate to the coastal living species in Metro Manila portion of Manila Bay and even beyond,” the Pamalakaya leader added.
The militant group urged the mayors and city councilors of Malabon, Navotas, Pasay City, Las Piñas and Parañaque to pass ordinances that will prevent the Big Three from relocating the Pandacan oil depot to their respective cities.
Pamalakaya raised this call after it learned the Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco expressed openness to accommodate the Pandacan oil depot in the city. “We appeal to Mayor Tiangco to reconsider his proposal and resign from entertaining that thought to host the Big 3. Navotas by orientation and by design Luzon’s fish capital and he should not change that,” the group said.
Pamalakaya also opposed the proposal of the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) to build an alternative oil depot in Pulilan, Bulacan. The militant group said the PNOC was planning to build a 45-kilometer petroleum pipeline worth $ 200 million with a receiving terminal in Pulilan near the North Luzon Expressway.
“Imagine the devastating impact and wholesale destruction a 45-kilometer pipeline that would pass through Manila Bay waters from Bataan to Bulacan once a freak accident occurs. The proposal is insane, period, period, period,” the group said.
The pipeline which will originate from Petron’s refinery in Limay, Bataan will be constructed in the 64-hectare property acquired by European investors to accommodate the oil depot from Pandacan in Manila.