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Fashion Show for Guimaras

hysteria.jpgHysteria (n: panic, hysterics, frenzy, madness) HERO TV and the senior Advertising Arts class of the University of the East College of Fine Arts recently held “HYSTERIA: Fashion Show for a Cause” at the UE Tan Yan Kee Building parking lot and at the UE Theater, Recto, Manila.The event served as an opportunity for UE CFA students to show their own fashion designs inspired by artists Piet Mondrian and Andy Warhol as well as Japanese street fashion collections. Participants also came dressed in their favorite anim, sentai, and computer games characters in the Cosplay parade.

This annual campus tradition was started last 2000 as part of the university’s foundation day. This year, the event was co-sponsored by HERO TV, the first and only Tagalog-dubbed anim channel in the Philippines and the Home of the New Anim Revolution. HERO TV will celebrate its first anniversary on November 18 at the World Trade Center.

“Hysteria is a unique fashion show with a noble purpose.? The organizers really exerted so much effort in designing the costumes,” HERO TV segment producer Carlo Jan Landrito said.

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Posted by Admin on October 19th, 2006

Resources: Petron Takes Responsibility; Review on how Total-Fina did it for the Erika Oil Spill


Petron takes responsibilty for the oil spill as a response to the online petition of Greenpeace. Read the file here. They said they are working with the IOPC for the siphoning of the remaining bunker fuel and are “are focusing their efforts to create alternative livelihood programs” but did not explicitly say how much they are investing on these programs. Siphoning of the bunker fuel is reported to cost around 12 Billion while the IOPC Compensation would amount to 300 million pesos.

Blast from the Past: Take a look at Total Fina’s press release here, where they explicitly enumerated how much they are going to invest for rebuilding communities and the siphoning of the oil from the tanker. Below is the text version:

TOTALFINA will finance the pumping of the Erika – TOTALFINA will set up an emergency fund to assist cleaning up the shore(Dec. 30, 99)

TOTALFINA, which has worked with the authorities since the beginning within the framework of the Polmar Mer and Polmar Terre plans, has accelerated and strengthened its involvement by making the following two commitments:

1. TOTALFINA will finance the pumping of the Erika wreckage

TOTALFINA will directly finance the pumping of the fuel oil contained in the Erika wreckage. This will enable the compensation budget from insurers and the IOPC-International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (which amounts to FRF 1.2 billion or EUR 183 million) to be dedicated first to indemnifying people who have suffered economic damage and to reimbursing costs incurred in cleaning up sea and land pollution. TOTALFINA will provide assistance so that operations are carried out under the best technical conditions and in a timely manner, subject to weather conditions.

2. TOTALFINA will set up a FRF 40 million (EUR 6.1 million) emergency fund to assist cleaning up the shore

This fund will be allocated to two programs conducted in agreement with authorities in the affected districts and regions.

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Posted by Admin on October 19th, 2006

In Your Ear & Out Your Mother by Roy Alberto

roy.jpgA former officemate asked me two days after the Dinig Sa Guimaras event how the gig turned out for the first musical fund-raiser for the province. At first, I was delighted to ‘hear’ from this then colleague that it was so nice of this person to inquire how the evening transpired. So, I politely said it went ‘well’. Of course, people were expecting us to fail since it was the production’s first attempt and I simply said it went ‘well’ for the sake of brevity. Since brevity is the soul of wit, let me be a fool this time by being brutally frank while still being Roy.

It was great to have power back after 72 hours since the typhoon razed havoc in Metro Manila. Electricity was out for three long days in the Greenhills area but on the night of the event itself, I believed for a moment that God was not that angry anymore as I was informed by a co-organizer that Meralco’s electricity had flowed like honey once more!

Having no power for that long, it was impossible to imagine the lack of cold beer in convenient stores within proximity. Nevertheless, if Bela Bar was flooded with beer, I would estimate that the amount of beer could have probably touched the edge of my balls. The people had to scavenge for slightly chilled Red Horse beer just so everyone could have a dose of alcohol that they all deserve. The beer could have been frozen cold from where they got it from but due to traffic and distance, the beer temperature had probably altered to a nearly undrinkable state.

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Posted by Admin on October 19th, 2006

Resources: Petron-Holcim Connection


1) Nicasio I. Alcantara – Chairman of Petron. Petron hires Holcim to take out debris from Guimaras (Oliver Mendoza of the Guardian wrote an Australian company offered to do the services for free.)

2) Tomas I. Alcantara – listed as a Board Director of Holcim. See this document. (page 3 – lists him as a director
page 13 – provides a professional background which includes the ff: that he is the President and Chairman of Alsons Consolidated Resources and former Undersecretary of DTI)

3) Alcantara and Sons were also listed as a stockholder (no. 57) in this document

4) The Holcim Quarterly Report (June 2006) (p10) reported the company generated 3.7 billion in revenues this year but its 5.8% lower than in 2005 due to low market demand. The company’s total assets as of June 2006 was P26.4 billion, a P740 million decrease from Dec 31, 2005.

Oliver Mendoza? has listed the ff: article in the Guardian on his blog where Virginia Ruivivar, Petron Public Affairs Manager Officer denied any connection between Nicasio I. Alcantara and Alisons Cement Incorporated). For the article “Petron pays P/7 click here“.

Posted by Admin on October 19th, 2006

Lessons: BBC Docu that Exposed the Erika Scandal


Wanted: a Film Documentary that will expose the politics behind the Guimaras oil spill. Read this report (background on the Erika sinking) from the BBC.To watch the video, click here (report by Tom Mangold). Some excerpts:

“Italian businessman Giuseppe Savarese, having eventually been identified as the owner of the Erika, is now facing criminal charges in France and has a 1 million bail on this head.”

“RINA accepts some of the responsibility but also points the finger at the Malta authorities, where the ship was flagged.”

“Lino Vassallo of the Malta Maritime Authority passes the buck straight back. He insists that whatever went wrong wasn’t their fault.”

‘I was thinking, what kind of system is this?’ the Captain told Correspondent at his home port of Bombay, ‘What about the other players? For no fault of my own I am being put in prison! I am only operating the ship and I am the one was is jailed. I am not the one who owned the ship. What about the rest?’

To read the transcript of the background video, click here.

Posted by Admin on October 18th, 2006

Double Standard for Oil Spills

differentworlds.jpgIn In the year 1999, the Erika Oil Spill in France rocked the whole world. The 25-year old Erika MT tanker broke into two and sank off the Brittany coast of France, leaking almost 14,000 tons of fuel and damaging 400 km. (240 miles) of coastline. The events spurred international in-depth reports, like the BBC documentary that showed a highly accurate portrayal of what was wrong with the international maritime industry.

In the beginning, Total Fina, the French oil company that owned the oil transported by Erika, denied any responsibility for the oil spill. This instigated French public outrage, while three major European countries started a boycott against the company. Suffering from public pressure and the threat of legal action in the French courts, Total Fina eventually admitted responsibility for the environmental disaster.

Many hoped that another Erika would never happen, but on Aug. 11, 2005, a tiny island in the Philippines named Guimaras suffered the same fate. In the role of Total Fina was a Philippine oil company named Petron. Petron is jointly owned by the Philippine government (30 percent), Saudi Aramco (40 percent), and other private stakeholders. More than 1 million liters of bunker fuel leaked from MT Solar I, the tanker hauling the Petron oil, damaging almost 300 km. (180 miles) of coastline and hectares of mangroves, while displacing 26,000 people, most of whom were fishermen who depended upon the sea for livelihood.

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Posted by Admin on October 18th, 2006

CBNRM Learning Center launches website on Guimaras

cbnrmweb.jpgThe CBNRM Learning Center has launched a special website on the CBCRM community’s actions for Guimaras. Guimaras response provides online resources about the Petron/Solar 1 oil spill off the coast of Guimaras island in the Philippines.

It is also? online hub for CBCRM practitioners who are currently helping in Guimaras and provide information towards long-term rehabilitation of the affected communities. Check the site at: To view the joint statement of CBNRM and the NGOs for Fishermen reform, please click here. (We are also publishing it below)

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Posted by Admin on October 17th, 2006

Just Another Oil Spill by Randee Cabaces

hands1.jpgRandee Cabaces is a member of CBNRN (Community Based Natural Resources Management Learning Center) Check for more details. This post can also be found at at the Oil Campaign section.

Civil society groups and other concerned sectors here in the Philippines have been making some noise since August about the failure of oil companies and government to ensure safe transport of crude oil within the country’s archipelagic waters. Such irresponsible disregard for safety measures and regulations has resulted in yet another disastrous oil spill off the coast of Guimaras Island. Motor tanker Solar 1, carrying over 2 million liters of bunker fuel, sank in nearby waters due to big waves and has been spilling its deadly cargo at the rate of 200 liters an hour.

28 of Guimaras Island’s 40 villages have been affected by the oil spill. Many of the island’s small fishers who used to be independent producers now depend on wages from irregular jobs and the oil companies’ clean up operations for their livelihood. The oil spill has destroyed around 454 hectares of mangroves and 58 hectares of seaweed plantation. Marine habitats and coral reefs around neighboring Taklong Island, site of a national marine reserve, were severely affected.

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Posted by Admin on October 17th, 2006

Lessons: The Legal Battle for Erika that Ended in Multiple Lawsuits


Learning from the Erika Oil Spill. Above: An ad condemning, Total Fina, the French oil company, as responsible for the Erika Oil Spill (2001). The French public branded them as FATAL. In the end the French oil company admitted responsibility and had to pay for both the clean up costs and the siphoning of the Erika tanker. They also set up an emergency fund to help the communities affected and to promote back tourism in Brittany, France. (We will publish this in another entry.)

Excerpt from OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Jan 2001) provided by


THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT HAS CHARGEDGiuseppe Savarese (the beneficial owner of the Erika), Panship (the vessel’s ship-manager) and RINA (the vessel’s classification society) with putting lives in danger and causing marine pollution. The Master of the ship was similarly charged but later released.

RINA? SUED eleven organisations in connection with their roles in the sinking of the Erika. These include: the registered owner (Tevere Shipping), Panship, the charterer (TotalFina), the ship-owner’s P&I club (Steamship Mutual), the IOPC and the French government. This action was served in Augusta, Sicily on 12 April 2000.

TEVERE SHIPPING has been sued for a reported US$4 million by TotalFina for the loss of its heavy fuel oil cargo, this action being filed in Dunkirk. The liabilities of the ship-owner in terms of oil pollution damage – despite the evident failings of the vessel are confined to the limits specified in the Civil Liability Convention. This would amount to around US$12.3 million. Moreover, even this is prospectively recoverable from the owner’s P&I club, Steamship Mutual.

BENEFICIAL OWNER GIUSSEPE SEVARESE? ? reportedly owes the vessel’s crew for three months unpaid wages, and is likely to be sued for the recovery of these monies.The vessel operator and ship-manager Amarship and Panship respectively have no liability for oil pollution damage under IMO conventions. Nonetheless, the French government is pursuing legal action against the latter, as well as against the beneficial owner, Giuseppe Savarese.

PANSHIP also stands to lose its ISM certification, based on recommendations by RINA to the Maltese and Italian authorities.

SELMONT INTERNATIONAL, as time-charterer of the Erika, has similarly not incurred any known liabilities arising from the loss of the vessel. As it is not the registered owner of the ship, it is exempt from any claims arising from oil pollution damage.

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Posted by Admin on October 16th, 2006

Lessons: “The Erika Case History”


Excerpt from the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Jan 2000) (provided by Cristophe Scwharte of


On DECEMBER 12, 1999, the 1975-built, 37,283 dwt, Maltese-flag dirty product tanker Erika broke up in heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay, around 40 nautical miles off the coast of Brittany. In doing so, it precipitated one of the worst cases of maritime pollution in European waters seen in recent years.

Although the volume of oil spilt was modest by the standards of previous high-profile tanker accidents (around 15,000 tonnes), the highly persistent nature of its heavy fuel oil cargo led to extremely severe pollution, covering around 400 km of coastline. Six months later, recovery of the remaining cargo still aboard the ship and treatment of the resulting pollution were both still in progress.

After the oil spill, TotalFina – the charterer of the Erika was subject to particularly severe criticism. This was because, apart from being a single-hulled tanker, the ship was a flag-of convenience vessel that had changed ownership several times, was controlled by a Malta-based brass plate ship-owner and had undergone several changes of classification society.

In addition, it has emerged that the ship had been built to a very light scantling design and had a lightweight that was some 1,000 tonnes below that of similar tonnage. The advanced age of the Erika was a particular source of ensuing criticism both from the French and EC authorities.

The fate of the Erika demonstrated the shortcomings of the shipping industry’s existing regulator mechanisms in that, although old by the standards of the tanker fleet, the ship was still in class, had ISM certification and had only undergone annual survey by RINA shortly before its final voyage.

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Posted by Admin on October 16th, 2006