AC Energy Philippines (“Company”) submitted today its environmental management plan (“EMP”) to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (“DENR-EMB”) with the plans of the Company to address the environmental impacts of the oil spill which happened last July 3, 2020.
The EMP they submitted focuses on the detailed plans of the Company. It also includes relevant timelines on the implementation of the plans in relation to the following key areas which the DENR-EMB stressed. This includes the highlighted key points during the technical conference that it hosted on July 8, 2020:
(1) completion of oil spill cleanup and ensuring that water quality is restored to safe levels;
(2) continued monitoring of air quality and ensuring that air quality is safe before affected families are allowed to return to their homes;
(3) proper collection and disposal of oil contaminated materials and wastes; and
(4) rehabilitation plan for the affected mangrove areas and fisheries.
After the submission of the EMP to the DENR-EMB, the Company assure to continue on working closely with the DENR. The Company will also coordinate with the various government bodies and agencies, including the local governments of Iloilo City and Guimaras and the Philippine Coast Guard (“PCG”). These efforts are to ensure the implement the EMP and to take into account the comments and recommendations from these government units and agencies.
Today, news reports were released with regards on the filing by the PCG of a criminal complaint against the Company. In addition to this, certain officers were also charged for alleged violation of Section 107 of Republic Act 8550 or “The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998” as amended by Republic Act 10654 for aquatic pollution. The Company however, has not received a copy of such complaint and cannot make any specific comment at this time.
Even with the filing of this case, the Company commits to continue cooperating, in good faith, with the PCG and the other government units and agencies. This is still to ensure that the oil spill clean-up is done properly and completed soon. Furthermore, the Company will continue to provide the needs of the affected communities and groups.
With the submission of the Company’s EMP, the various clean-up activities and the community assistance it has been providing since the oil spill happened, the Company hopes to have demonstrated its serious commitment to do what is right. This is for both the affected communities and the environment, including to address the finding of aquatic pollution by the PCG. All these efforts are done in coordination with industry and local government partners.