Coast guard, group conduct exercise in case of oil spill

THE COAST Guard Davao station and private emergency responders conducted an oil spill exercise at Sta. Ana wharf yesterday morning.

Capt. Oscar C. Endona Jr., newly appointed commander of the Coast Guard District Southeastern Mindanao, told reporters yesterday in an interview that they trained for two scenarios—when two ships collide and when fire occurs on board the ship.

“After that, there was an oil spill scenario,” he said. “It’s an in house, meaning the vessel itself and the local companies have their own equipment and capability to conduct oil spill response and recovery.”

Endona said the exercise is one way of checking if the equipment and personnel are up to par in case of emergencies.

“We have to be consistent to conduct exercise regularly thrice or four times a year considering that the Samal Island is well surrounded by resorts,” he added. ”It is one place that we really need to protect.”

In a separate interview, Marine Supt. Noel C. Kimmayong, oil spill response head, said the exercise will ensure the responders are ready, and find out if there’s a need to  upgrade their capacity and cooperation with the coast guard.

“We are the privately organized group responders of the oil companies,” he said. “If there’s an oil spill, we are the first to respond.”

He said they stationed two tugboats in the region that can respond immediately in case of an oil spill. Among the challenges are the weather changes and ocean waves.

The Waterborne Industry Spill Equipment (WISE) Philippines was organized by the oil companies that are members of Petrolium Industry of the Philippines. It was organized  to be the first responder on an oil spill incident.

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