Greenpeace pressures Petron to take the xtra challenge and stop the spill

Messages projected in billboard along EDSA Guadalupe

Feature story - October 23, 2006
In a series of messages flashed along Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares Greenpeace today told Petron to take the extra challenge and stop their oil spill that continues to menace human lives and the environment. The messages, parodies of Petron’s ubiquitous “xtra challenge” ads, were projected onto walls and buildings along EDSA and other roads in Metro Manila.

In a series of messages flashed along Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares Greenpeace today told Petron to take the extra challenge and stop their oil spill that continues to menace human lives and the environment. The messages, parodies of Petron’s ubiquitous “xtra challenge” ads, were projected onto walls and buildings along EDSA and other roads in Metro Manila.

"'Petron Xtra' now stands for 'Xtra kupad, iwas bayad'" said Greenpeace Campaigner Beau Baconguis. "Theirs has probably been the slowest response to longest oil spill in history-all to avoid shelling out funds urgently needed to stop the spill once and for all."

Greenpeace is demanding Petron to:1) speedup the process of extracting the oil as soon as possible by guaranteeing the expected costs; 2) immediately intensify relief operations; 3) commit to pay for the continuing clean up, rehabilitation and monitoring of the area; and 4) compensate the communities for the lost incomes since August 11 up to at least 1 full year and until such time when affected communities have been able to fully recover from the impacts and consequences of the disaster. Last week, they launched an online petition in their website and have asked concerned citizens to send emails to pressure the oil company to start acting on the problem.

   

It has been 73 days since the start of Petron's oil spill. But the tanker Solar 1, which remains underwater with approximately more than a million liters of oil still in its hold, continues to leak. Petron has from the beginning avoided financial responsibility for the retrieval of the oil and has left the fate of affected coastal communities in Guimaras to the IOPC (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund). The IOPC, which decides only today whether they will or will not shoulder the retrieval expenses, projects retrieval to begin only on January or February 2007. By that time, the oil would have been continuously leaking for 6 months with the added possibility of rupture. Meanwhile Petron describes the leak as "minimal" and "can no longer be considered harmful." Petron has also announced that their clean up operation is finished.

"Petron's time bomb is still ticking and sadly, they've made no effort to defuse it. Apparently they see no reason to urgently address the problem and are willing to just let the oil leak until someone else decides to take it out," said Baconguis. "Until the oil is removed the ecological time bomb will continue to imperil the environment and human lives."

                           

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