Philippine refiner admits diesel spill

AFP-JIJI

Petron Corp., the Philippines’ largest oil refiner, has admitted responsibility for a huge diesel spill that shut down parts of Manila Bay’s vital fishing industry, threatening the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people.

Authorities said an estimated 500,000 liters of oil cast a slick along 20 km of coastline Thursday close to a Petron fuel depot in the town of Rosario, south of Manila.

“At this stage, we take responsibility for this unfortunate incident,” Petron President Lubin Nepomuceno said in a statement posted on the company’s Facebook page late Monday. “We will pursue proper remediation and cleanup of the areas affected, aiming to restore the means of livelihood of the local communities. In the meantime, we will continue to give the assistance needed by residents affected by the spill.”

Jose Ricafrente, the mayor of Rosario, said the spill had temporarily left around 40,000 local fishing industry employees out of work.