DOH says deaths of 4 persons in Estancia not directly due to oil spill

October 8, 2014 6:48 am 

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 7 -– Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Marlyn Convocar said that the deaths of four persons were not directly due to the oil spill that happened in Estancia, Iloilo November 8 of last year.

“I can’t say that there is direct link to the oil spill,” Convocar told members of the House Committee on Energy during their hearing held at the Iloilo capitol Tuesday.

The DOH official said that there was no toxicology test conducted that would support what the Task Force Buliganay claims that the four persons' deaths were triggered by their exposure to the oil spill caused by Power Barge 103 of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) but being operated by the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) in Barangay Botongon, Estancia, Iloilo.

Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenares, who was present in Tuesday’s hearing, said that the long exposure of these people to the toxic air due to oil spill triggered the deaths.

He further expressed intention for Bayan Muna to file a class suit against the spiller and the Kuan Yu Global Technologies that has contracted the much delayed cleanup operations.

Casualties Renante de Juan, Lolito Grijaldo Alcasa, Donnie Trogo and Reynaldo De la Cruz had either worked or lived nearby Botongon and were diagnosed to have bacterial meningitis or cardio pulmonary arrest and pneumonia as their caused of deaths.

DOH Regional Epidemiologist Dr. Glen Alonsabe, who was also present during the hearing, reiterated his concern on the neglect of the Kuan Yu to heed their advise for the use of protective devices for their workers.

He said that the health concern is not more on the residents but on the workers who were directly exposed on the toxic waste material.

Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chairman of the Committee, said that they expect the DOH to submit medical records of these casualties within a month so they could tackle it by their next hearing in response to the resolution sponsored by Rep. Colmenares to investigate the deaths. (PNA)

LAP/AJPETINGLAY/VLO/UTB

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