(EnergyAsia, August 23 2013, Friday) — Residents and fishermen in Manila Bay’s Cavite coastal villages hit by a second major oil spill in three years are demanding that Philippine state-owned Petron shut down a nearby oil storage depot believed to be the cause of the leaks.

Through the newly formed Close Petron Depot Movement (CPDM), residents said the depot poses a constant threat to fishermen and urban poor in Cavite, and are demanding compensation for losses suffered by tens of thousands of people after the latest spill earlier this month.

Petron initially denied it was responsible, but backed down after authorities traced the spill of around 500,000 litres of diesel to the company’s depot in Rosario town located south of Manila city.

Petron President Lubin Nepomuceno apologised and said it would take responsibility for the “unfortunate incident” by pursuing “proper remediation and clean-up of the areas affected” while aiming to restore the means of livelihood of affected communities.

The spill left many people sick from inhaling the fumes and threatens the long-term viability of tens of thousands of residents whose livelihoods depend on Manila Bay’s vital fishing industry.