Kuan Yu may lose contract
ILOILO – The company tapped for the oil spill cleanup in Estancia town may lose its contract if it fails to fulfill its obligations.
The state-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) said it has the option to terminate the services of Kuan Yu Global Technologies Inc. if it is found to have not complied with the terms of its contract.
Contract termination is a remedy granted under the law, stressed PSALM, owner of Power Barge 103 that has already spilled an estimated 900,000 bunker fuel into the waters of Estancia.
The barge ran aground on November 8 in Brgy. Botongon when super typhoon “Yolanda” struck.
So that the cleanup and salvage operations would not be hampered in the event that contract termination is found justified, PSALM said it is already gathering data and studying the matter.
Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. has criticized Kuan Yu for its slow oil spill cleanup.
According to PSALM, Kuan Yu must perform the following:
* oil spill containment and coastal cleanup of the shoreline of Brgy. Botongon and those of other affected areas
* removal, transport and treatment / disposal of waste oil and debris
* siphoning of remaining usable fuel oil in Power Barge 103 in Estancia and transporting this to Power Barges 101 and 102 located Barrio Obrero, La Paz, Iloilo City
* refloating of Power Barge 103; and
* towing of refloated Power Barge 103 to a dry dock facility.
Defensor said it is important for PSALM and power barge operator National Power Corp. (Napocor) to compel Kuan Yu to speed up the cleanup.
Karl Ignatius Young, president of Kuan Yu, appealed for patience during media interviews, saying they want to do an efficient job that may seem slow.
He added that they are capable, as the company was also the one hired to contain the oil spill in Guimaras and Semirara Island in Antique in 2006.
Kuan Yu’s M/T Obama barge can siphon at least 850,000 liters of bunker fuel from the damaged barge, Young assured the public.
The barge contained about 1.4 million liters of bunker fuel.
Kuan Yu won the contract for the oil spill cleanup on November 20. But it started siphoning spilled bunker fuel only on December 7 despite PSALM’s requirement that it must mobilize within 48 hours after bagging the contract worth P87,213,012.70.
Kuan Yu’s articles of incorporation submitted to PSALM stated its purpose was to “provide service in marine management specializing in oil spill response, shoreline and open water cleanup, waste management and environmental remediation”, “provide oil spill management, marine pollution management, consultancy, technical advice, remediation and perform actual oil spill clean-up”, and “provide waste management and remediation through collection, safe transport and handling as well as proper disposal of oil and chemical wastes.”
But Gov. Defensor said Kuan Yu appears to have no competence, citing its slow operation.
Kuan Yu said the cleanup may take up to three months to complete, something that the governor finds hard to accept, citing the prolonged suffering of over two thousand residents of Estancia that have evacuated due to the oil spill.
Defensor said he may seek a congressional inquiry on Kuan Yu. (With a report from the Philippine Information Agency-Iloilo/PN)