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15, 2014

NR # 3347B

Oil Spill Liability Fund sought
A lawmaker has proposed a law that would spell out, among others, the liability of owners of tanker barges and tanker haulers or of ships or watercraft for any oil spill or natural resource damage. “Our Constitution states that the government is the primary guardian and custodian of the nation’s natural resources, including care of our marine resources,” declared ep. ufus odrigue! "#nd $istrict, Cagayan de Oro City%, author of &' #()*, with party+list ep. ,a-imo odrigue! "Abante ,indanao% as co+author. &' #()*, entitled “an Act creating the Oil .pill /iability 0und” "O./0%, gives life to the declared policy of the .tate to prevent, abate, mitigate and control the pollution by oil and oily mi-ture of the seas within the territorial 1urisdiction of the 2hilippines. 3he O./0 shall be managed and administered as a 3rust 0und by the $epartment of environment and 4atural esources "$54 %, to be sourced from contribution of owners and operators of tankers and barges hauling oil and6or petroleum products in 2hilippine waterways and coast+wise shipping routes. As proposed, during its first year of e-istence, the 0und shall be constituted by an impost "or levy% of ten centavos per liter for every delivery or transhipment of oil made by tanker barges and tanker haulers. “After the first year, the amount of contribution shall be 1ointly determined by the $54 , other concerned government agencies, and representatives from the owner of tanker barges, and ship hauling oil and6or petroleum products,” odrigue! said. &' #()* provides that the ma-imum amount which may be paid from the 0und with respect to removal costs resulting from a single incident shall not e-ceed 27+million and natural resource damage assessment and claims in connection with any single incident shall not e-ceed 2#.7+million. /ikewise, the bill provides that, without pre1udice to the right of the $54 to engage the services of a private contractor, the 2hilippine Coast 8uard, using available funds from the Oil .pill /iability 0und shall be the agency primarily responsible for the physical removal and6or clean+up operations of oil spills. 3he authors recalled an August oil spill in Cavite which, as determined by the 2hilippine Coast 8uard, was caused by a leak in a submerged pipeline of oil firm 2etron Corp. “3he oil leak turned parts of ,anila 'ay red and adversely affected at least four coastal towns in Cavite,” odrigue! pointed out. Also in August last year, ,9 .aint 3homas A:uinas ; collided with the ,9 .ulpicio 5-press .iete which produced an oil spill that affected Cordova town. “3hese recent tragedies resulted in damage to our waters which this proposed statute hopes to answer. 3here has to be a mechanism for the prevention, abatement, mitigation and control of oil pollution within the country’s 1urisdiction,” the authors concluded. "<=% dpt