Saturday, March 10, 2007

Will the Pandacan oil depot be moved any time soon?

Probably not despite Manila Mayor Atienza's resolve not to appeal the Supreme Court decision ordering the immediate enforcement of City Council Ordinance 8027 which reclassifies the area occupied by the depot from industrial to commercial. This being an election year, Mayor Atienza and the city council would never dare to contest the SC decision and so they're all trashing the oil companies in radio interviews.

One hint that Mayor Atienza is not really batting for immediate closure is the fact that in the many interviews he granted, he never addressed the issue of City Ordinance 8119 or the Comprehensive Land Use Plan of Manila, which, the oil companies are claiming, superseded City Council Ordinance 8027 and provides them a seven-year period to relocate their terminals (or until 2013, according to Petron public affairs manager Virginia Ruivivar).

After the elections, the new City Council members with three years of newly secured public office can also lean over backward to accomodate the oil companies and issue a new ordinance that would favor a slow-motion closure of the depot. For the Manila residents who want to see the depot shut down, the real battle would be in packing the city council this May 14 with anti-depot councilors.


Anonymous said...

why would the fate of a potential terror tinderbox be in the hands of a few councilors, who will most probably be too political about it. maybe this is where the terror law can take over?

Anonymous said...

oops thats me. r.o.

Ronnel said...

That's it you see. we are whipped up by the national senatorial elections, but the decisions that will matter to our everyday lives are made by officals we have absolutely no interest in (like lowly city councilors).

Bonn Juego said...

Bad, I can't vote for the Manila City Council this coming elections! Anyway, if I'm in the country on May 14 I'll probably cast my vote only for Akbayan.

Public attention will shift from the national to the local elections in the coming weeks. In this case Tip O'Neill's 'all politics is local' thesis applies!

By the way, if I'm not mistaken UP also has an interest in this area. I think a substantial land area within the depot is UP's property. I heard it before from former President Dodong Nemenzo. Any news in this regard?

Ronnel said...

I also heard that UP is the biggest owner of the area occupied by the depot but it's not the sole owner of the whole area.