Mayor Tiangco apologizes to victims of Navotas ammonia leak; vows to hold ice plant owner accountable

Published by rudy Date posted on February 4, 2021

by Noreen Jazul, Manila Bulletin, 4 Feb 2021

Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco has assured the public that the ice plant owned by his mother’s family will be held accountable for the ammonia gas leak incident which happened Wednesday.

In an interview with DZMM Teleradyo on Thursday, Tiangco apologized to residents who were affected by the ammonia leak that came from the T.P. Marcelo Ice Plant and Cold Storage in Barangay North Bay Boulevard South (NBBS).

“Humihingi ako ng paumanhin sa lahat ng mga naperwisyo. Even po yan ay kompanya na pagmamayari ng nanay ko, kailangan po silang sumunod sa lahat ng regulasyon at sisiguraduhin po natin na sumunod sila sa lahat ng regulasyon (I would like to apologize to the residents who were affected by the [ammonia leak]. Even if the plant is owned by my mother, they have to follow all regulations, and we will make sure that they follow all these regulations),” Tiangco said.

He said he has also ordered his mother’s company to shoulder all hospital bills of residents who were affected by the leak and the burial costs of an employee who died in the incident.

“Yung hospital bills at saka yung burial costs ay dapat sagutin ng kompanya because ang aksidente ay nanggaling doon sa kompanya. Di po ito natural disaster tulad ng lindol o baha na dapat sagutin ng LGU (local government unit) (The hospital bills and burial costs should be shouldered by the company because the accident happened in the company’s premises. This is not a natural disaster like earthquakes or flooding that the LGU should be responsible for),” he added.

“Lahat ng gastusin, kahit yung nagastos po doon sa hospital, doon sa pagbibigay serbisyo, though libre ‘yon normally…In this case, nagbigay po ako ng instruction para lang maayos na hindi nakinabang ng kahit anong libre ‘yung kompanya na kabilang po doon ang nanay ko, eh pina-compute ko po para bayaran nila (All the expenses, including hospital services which is normally free…In this case, just so it’s clear that the company which my mother is a part of, did not benefit from any free services. I instructed that all hospital expenses be computed and have them paid by the company),” he added.

As to penalties to be imposed, Tiangco said he will still check as there is no ordinance in Navotas penalizing plants or companies involved in such incidents.

“I will have to check sa national law if may fine when it comes to [a] situation like this (I will have to check the national law if there is a fine when it comes to a situation like this),” Tiangco said when asked if the ice plant will be fined or receive a closure order following the ammonia leak incident.

Tiangco said he has yet to receive a final report on what caused the ammonia leak as of Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, all residents who were rushed to the Navotas City Hospital and Tondo General Hospital were already sent home.

Only 20 patients who were admitted at the Philippine General Hospital remain under observation.

One person died, while 76 others were injured in the ammonia leak incident which happened at around 4 p.m. on Wednesday in Barangay North Bay Boulevard South (NBBS).

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