“Madamo nga chemicals ang dala sang bunker fuel that will affect the health sang aton pumuluyo. Kun ara na gid man ini sa aton shorelines, we will handle this carefully. Dapat may PPE (personal protective equipment) kita,” Gumarin explained. The effect of the oil spill on the marine resources and the livelihood of the people in the island province is like “fighting another battle amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Gumarin. She said barangays immediately deployed spill booms and initiated cleanup operations. Buenavista mayor Eugenio Reyes, said they conducted an inspection to verify how many affected families are to be evacuated. Gov. Samuel Gumarin cautioned residents of the affected barangays about the health hazards brought by the bunker fuel. The oil spill was triggered by an explosion from Power Barge 102 docked in the Barangay Bo. Obrero. The explosion tore a one-foot-wide hole in the hull of the power barge and caused 251,000 liters of bunker fuel to spill into the Iloilo River and neighboring Iloilo towns of Dumangas and the barangay of Sto. Niño Norte in Arevalo district. “The bulk of oil spill entering our ports depends on the sea current. Minsan nandiyan sa ports, maya-maya nababalik ulit sa gitna ng Iloilo Strait. After we finish our improvised boom, we will try to contain the oil,” Jacinto said. Gumarin said the provincial government is coordinating with the Office of the Civil Defense and the Philippine Coast Guard for the cleanup operations./PN ILOILO City – Twenty coastal villages in the island province of Guimaras are affected by the oil spill from a power barge in Barangay Bo. Obrero, Lapuz, Iloilo City following an explosion Friday last week. He advised and assisted the affected barangays on the deployment of improvised oil spill booms. The power barge is estimated to be carrying 320,000 liters of bunker fuel. IT’S SPREADING Spilled bunker fuel (right photo) is seen floating on the waters of Guimaras province following an explosion on AC Energy’s Power Barge No. 102 in Barangay Bo. Obrero, Lapuz, Iloilo City. (left photo) A resident’s hands in Jordan, Guimaras are stained with fuel oil. Local authorities say the bunker fuel from a barge damaged by an explosion has already reached 20 coastal villages of the island province. GUIMARAS PIO The oil spill is among the biggest since 2006 when 2.1 million liters of bunker fuel spilled in the water of Guimaras when the tanker MT Solar 1 sank on Aug. 11, 2006. Barangays affected by the oil spill in Jordan town were Rizal, Hoskyn, Balcon Milleza, and Morobuan. “May pandemya kita, nagasaka man ang numero sang dengue fever, naglupok pa gid ini. Aside sang tawo, ang aton naman coastal areas – ang source na naman sang aton mga sud-an ang naigo,” he added. In Buenavista, barangays that also reported traces of bunker fuel in their waters were Montpiller, Rizal, Sto. Rosario, Magsaysay, Zaldivar, Sawang, Taminla, Dagsaan, Tacay, Getulio, San Miguel, Navalas, Bacjao, Tanag, Umilig, and Avila. Commander Jose Jacinto Jr. of the Philippine Coast Guard-Guimaras station said they conducted coastline patrol to identify areas affected by the oil spill. Bunker fuel spilled from the power barge and littered the shores of the towns of Jordan and Buenavista, a report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Guimaras showed. Guimaras PDRRM officer Teresita Siason said municipalities and coastal barangays of the province were immediately alerted of the oil spill.