Quezon City — Around 48,000 liters of oil spilled into waters off Iloilo on 3 July 2020, after an explosion at a power barge owned by AC Energy.  Authorities estimate an area of around 1,200 square meters are affected.  Khevin Yu, campaigner in Greenpeace Philippines, said:

“This oil spill is a big threat to marine life and to the health and livelihoods of communities in Iloilo and Guimaras. Fisherfolk and coastal communities are already struggling to adjust to the logistic and economic impacts of the pandemic that have caused big losses in their sources of income and food security. Our thoughts are with these communities who are now suffering an additional blow to their health and livelihoods.

“This latest incident shows how oil and other fossil fuel sources are dirty and dangerous to the environment and communities hosting these power plants. Communities shouldn’t have to suffer for fossil-fuel based energy and its local impacts. The burning of fossil fuels is also the main contributor to the climate crisis. Beyond a clean-up, we are asking power companies to rethink their businesses to immediately shift to RE sources and phase out their oil and coal facilities.  

“RE sources, such as solar and wind, have already been shown to be safer and cheaper and are the solution to the climate emergency. These are also readily available, abundant and do not require importation. Replacing fossil fuels with RE will lead us to a low-carbon future and a better normal.

“This oil spill will have lasting effects on the marine environment and communities. As a response, the government should ensure that the centerpiece of the country’s post-pandemic recovery plan is an urgent and just transition to 100% RE power generation.”