Monday, August 4, 2008

Group, barangay chiefs oppose new oil exploration

Group, barangay chiefs oppose oil exploration
The Freeman
Monday, July 28, 2008

The Save Tañon Strait Citizen’s Movement, the group that strongly opposed the oil exploration in Tañon Straight, has shifted its focus to Argao, the site of the new oil exploration in Cebu .

This after NorAsian Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Australian-based Ottoman Energy Ltd., has chosen Argao for its oil exploration project.

With the site surveys set for next month, representatives of NorAsian have initiated consultations with the different barangays in the municipality.

Vince Cinches of STSCM said they will be filing a case against NorAsian and other individuals involved in the “environment- destructing oil exploration project” for allegedly violating existing laws.

Argao has a marine protected area of 108.35 hectares.

The town’s officials said the site survey is for the anticipated oil exploration, which would reportedly start January next year.

Two board members of the Association of Barangay Captains in Argao have already expressed opposition to the drilling project.

Barangay Langtad Captain Ariel Saragena said he does not trust NorAsian’s scheme, because it allegedly failed to deliver complete details of the project, such as its environmental impact once drilling starts.

Saragena contended that the reason why many others in the town have not issued statements on the issue is because they have not been adequately informed.

The consultations with barangays were reportedly useless because NorAsian representatives allegedly could not directly answer some questions like the procedures in compensation.

Saragena said oil drilling is not necessary because only foreign investors will benefit out of it.

He said that instead of accommodating these investors, government should focus on programs that would boost the fishing industry in Argao, which is one of the main sources of livelihood of town residents. — Jessica Ann Pareja/JMO

Original article here.

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