Huge environmental victory for residents of Pandacan, Manila!
FENCELINE COMMUNITY FOR HUMAN SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION-PANDACAN, MANILA
FELIX C. MAJABAGUE, JR.
“A huge environmental victory for the residents of Pandacan and for Manileños, in general.” This is how Barangay Captain Felix Majabague describes the recent decision by the Supreme Court ordering Manila City Mayor to enforce City Ordinance 8027, which sets forth the clearing of Pandacan district, classified as a residential area, of the facilities of big oil companies Shell, Petron and Caltex. The 12-page decision by the High Tribunal says that the depots are prone to possible terrorist attack and that the decision is “to protect the residents of Manila from the catastrophic devastation that will surely occur in case of a terrorist attack on the Pandacan Terminals.”
Capt. Majabague, barangay captain of Brgy. 835 stressed the constant dangers posed on Pandacan communities by the oil depot. Majabague further clarifies that "terrorist attacks, notwithstanding, the depots pose an incessant danger of oil fires to the residents of the nearby communities.” He said that oil companies Shell, Caltex and Petron, which avail of the oil depot facilities, do not have the capacity to aid Pandacan communities in case of a disaster. "The oil companies have consistently emphasized their capability to put out fires in the depot. They, however, have not, indicated control measures and plans about fires in the communities within their vicinity" said Majabague. Furthermore, monitoring by the community has revealed high levels of toxic gases in the atmosphere when trucks are being loaded at the depot. A medical study suggested residents were exposed to toxins which could cause damage to the nervous system.
Capt. Majabague is also the spokesperson for Fenceline Community for Human Safety and Environmental Protection – a people’s organization which has devoted itself to being the community watchdog particularly on environmental issues concerning the “Big Three” oil companies