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SMC headquarters “oil bombed”, youth group claims responsibility

Oil bombing

An environmental group on Saturday claimed responsibility for the “oil bombing” of the corporate logo of the country’s largest conglomerate, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) at its head office at Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City Friday evening.

Stewards and Volunteers for the Earth Philippines (SAVE Ph), a youth-led environmental organization, in an email sent to the media, claimed that their action was their response for the conglomerate’s failure to take full responsibility for the oil spill off the coast of Occidental Mindoro last February 28.

“Drastic action is the only way to get our message across as people across the globe clamor for a better future for the next generations on Earth Day. SMC blemished our seas with their corporate irresponsibility. Now, it’s the youth’s turn to return the favor,” they said..

“We demand San Miguel Corporation to take full responsibility by publicly acknowledging, not stonewalling, the people’s right to be informed and fully compensated for the damage they have inflicted on peoples’ lives and livelihoods.”.

SAVE Ph also urged SMC to cover the costs of containing and mechanically removing the oil, as well as compensating all affected communities and facilitating long-term rehabilitation efforts.

They added that they also demanded SMC to decisively veer away from fossil fuels and focus their resources in pursuing the development of renewable energy instead.

“We have reached the maximum capacity of the Earth to absorb, literally and figuratively, centuries of destructive practices and industries. We are now in a climate emergency and will suffer the irreversible effects of the continued reliance on fossil fuels and the companies that peddle and profit from them”.

The group also took a swipe at the Marcos administration that contented itself with initiating social amelioration programs and failing to go beyond superficial initiatives.

“We have had enough of their negligence, connivance and corruption. The government must use this occasion to take a harder look at white elephant in the room – connivance among corporate giants and regulatory and law enforcement bodies,” SAVE Ph explained.

They also called on lawmakers to review the laws, policies and procedures of state agencies with regards to preserving our natural and maritime resources.

“At the bare minimum, we need more stringent laws, much greater fines, even the suspension or revocation of business permits to curb corporate abuse and malpractices.

Failure to initiate reform, according to the group “will serve as a license to further defile our environment”.

The group warned that similar actions can be expected until the government heeds their demands.

“The “oil bombing was only the beginning, and we have no intention of stopping until our concerns are acted upon,” the group warned.

The Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) estimates that more than 137,000 individuals across the provinces of Occidental Mindoro, Palawan Batangas and Iloilo have been affected by the oil spill.

The Department of Agriculture reports that the fishing sector loses nearly P19 million daily as the oil spill rages on.

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