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West Tower cleanup targets early finish

[] June 22,2011

The First Philippine Industrial Commercial Corp., operator of the country’s sole commercial oil pipeline, announced on Tuesday that it will complete this year the cleanup of the oil spill at the West Tower condominium in Makati City.

The company said it was on schedule to restore the 22-story condominium in Bangkal village.

“We have been progressing at a steady pace in our rehabilitation efforts for the condo building and we hope to finish everything before the close of the year,” FPIC president Tony Mabasa said.

FPIC owns and operates the 117-kilometer underground oil pipeline that leaked July last year, spilling crude and refined petroleum products and prompting the city government to order West Tower residents evacuated.

A group of unit owners and village residents have filed claims against the company before the Makati Regional Trial Court while others brought the case to the Supreme Court to stop the reopening of the pipeline system.

According to Mabasa, FPIC and its contractors have assessed the rehabilitation of the building after they were allowed by West Tower management full access to the basements and common areas last month.

Before permission was given, FPIC had to secure passes every time staff would enter the premises.

FPIC’s Bangkal Project Remediation chief Nards Ablaza said they have installed air and water filter systems for the benefit of the community.

Mabasa said West Tower residents will only be allowed to return to their units following post-rehabilitation inspection of the site by the Makati City government along with the Department of Health and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

He said FPIC and its remediation and engineering services contractor, CH2MHILL Philippines Inc., have been carrying out remediation in other sections of Bangkal to prevent any health hazard from threatening the condominium unit owners and the community. Ferdinand Fabella

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