Home » Maritime » Limited period for oil fund collection eyed

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) is looking at limiting to one year the collection of funds intended for the oil pollution fund.

Under Republic Act 9483 or the Oil Pollution Compensation Act, P0.10 of every liter of oil delivered by tanker operators will contribute to an oil pollution fund for use in cases of oil spills.

“The collection is only temporary to obtain a seed fund to mobilize immediate responses to oil spills,” Transport undersecretary Maria Elena Bautista told PortCalls.

“If within the one-year period starting next month we see that the amount is sufficient, then we will stop collection in order not to burden the tanker operators,” Bautista added.

“We are seriously considering complaints of operators but the law is clear. What we can only do is to mitigate its impact on their business and pegging the collection time to a limited period is one of them,” she said.

Based on estimates, collection for a year may total P1.5 billion, believed enough to cover immediate expenses in case of an oil spill.

The amount will be managed by the Maritime Industry Authority and can only be drawn from a bank during oil spill incidents and disbursed by the Philippine Coast Guard.

The amount will be replenished by the owner or operator of the vessel or vessels involved in the incident, whether international or local, within a certain period. In case of failure to comply, the used amount will be charged against assets of the company.

The DOTC is finalizing implementing rules and regulation of RA 9483 for issuance next month.

Earlier, tanker operators warned of a tanker holiday if government insists on implementing the law, arguing it will deal a final blow to an already flagging industry.

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