Fast response, initiative help AC Energy manage oil spill

8/18/2020 Randomly Candid 0 Comments

AC Energy Head of Plant Operations Gabby Mejia

It was on July 3 when AC Energy Philippines’ Power Barge 102 in Zone 3, Bo. Obrero, Lapuz, Iloilo City met an explosion incident. This led to an oil spill that affected communities in Iloilo and Guimaras.

Though came on a sudden, AC Energy was able to quickly contain the oil spill on the same day which led to the effective management of the incident.

Around 170 personnel were immediately deployed by AC Energy, Philippine Coast Guard, Petron Corporation, and Global Power Corporation to set up oil skimmers and multilayered spill booms to assist the cleanup initiatives.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and AC Energy Head of Plant Operations inspect the evacuation centers to ensure that the affected families are well provided. (Photo from AC Energy Facebook Page)

Aside from managing the oil spill, AC Energy with the help of the local government units of Iloilo City was able to evacuate around 325 affected families in Bo. Obrero, Mansaya and Loboc to nearby schools and provided them their necessities such as food, healthcare assistance, and PPEs. In a bid to provide the affected families a more conducive shelter while they can’t return to their homes, they were billeted to hotels later on.

All these initiatives were narrated by AC Energy Philippines’ Head of Plant Operations Gabby Mejia who commended the fast and well-coordinated response of the Iloilo City local government regarding the incident. 

He added that with the collaboration of AC Energy and the LGUs greatly helped them manage the incident swiftly. He specifically mentioned Mayor Jerry Treñas who have been very active in partnering with AC Energy to provide the needs of the affected communities in Iloilo City.


In an interview, Mejia said that the support of AC Energy to the affected communities will not stop to the cleanup and recovery of the oil spill. He mentioned that AC Energy has several sustainability plans in placed to help the affected communities and make sure that the marine ecosystem is completely rehabilitated.

AC Energy already submitted to the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) its Environmental Management Plan to curb the environmental impact of the oil spill. The plan includes completion of oil spill cleanup and ensuring that water quality is restored to safe levels; continued monitoring of air quality and ensuring that air quality is safe before affected families are allowed to return to their homes; proper collection and disposal of oil-contaminated materials and wastes; and rehabilitation plan for the affected mangrove areas and fisheries.

AC Energy and AECOM Philippines presented their action plans in a meeting organized by CENRO.
(Photo from AC Energy Facebook Page)

AC Energy has also partnered with AECOM Philippines which conducted a spill assessment through criteria called Shoreline Clean-up Assessment Technique (SCAT), a global standard for survey and documentation of the impact of spills on shoreline.

There will be also a fisheries assessment to the affected communities which will be done in partnership with the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) as part of the company’s livelihood compensation efforts for the fisherlfolks.

An Enhanced Corporate Social Responsibility Program will also be implemented by AC Energy to the affected communities in Iloilo City namely, Bo. Obrero, Mansaya and Loboc. The said Enhanced CSR Program will focus on four areas – health, education, livelihood, and disaster resilience.

“With this strong collaboration among the various stakeholders, we are confident that we will be able to achieve our common objective and restore normalcy in the lives of everyone," Mejia said in an interview.


On his part, Kaiser Monreal, the Barangay Captain of Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras, one of the affected communities in the province said that their previous experience in the oil spill in 2006 taught them a lesson. Thus, when the recent oil spill happened, they already what to do. They immediately made improvised spill booms made of used clothes and coconut husks to prevent the bunker oil from reaching their coastline.

Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras Barangay Captain Kaiser Monreal

Monreal also highlighted the bayanihan of the residents who helped in the cleanup initiative. Likewise, he commended AC Energy for being active in helping their community by hiring locals for their shoreline cleanup initiative and in providing them PPEs such as mask, gloves, and boots.
Volunteers of Brgy. Hoskyn, Jordan, Guimaras are helping in AC Energy's cleanup initiative.

This was agreed by Barangay Captain Regidor Camarista of Brgy. Sawang, Buenavista, Guimaras, the smallest village in the province and one of the affected communities of the oil spill.
Sawang, Buenavista, Guiamaras Barangay Captain Regidor Camarista

Comparing AC Energy’s response to the previous oil spill incident which also affected their community, he said that the company has provided a more concrete action plan, faster containment of the oil spill, and better coordination with the communities affected.

To note, because of the quick response of AC Energy to their needs, most especially on the shoreline cleanup, their community is now almost back to normal. The residents can now fish for their daily food, and the oil spill did not cause any severe damages on their environment and livelihood.
Brgy. Sawang's shoreline after AC Energy's cleanup initiative.

Sa nakita ko, gabulig gid sila. Nakabaton man kami goods diri kag ang bulig sa livelihood sang volunteers, dako naman nga bulig. Wala man sila gapabaya. Gakadto guid sila sa location para magcheck.” (On my observation, they (AC Energy) is really helping. We were able to receive goods and helped volunteers in their livelihood. It was a big help. They did not take us for granted. They really go to the location to check),” Camarista noted.

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