february: oil giants told to move out
The Supreme Court in Manila ordered the transfer of an oil depot housing three oil firms, dismissing an appeal by Chevron, Petron Corp. and Pilipinas Shell. The high court gave the three oil companies a 90-day non-extendable period to submit before the Manila Regional Trial Court their comprehensive plans and relocation schedules.
The depot in Pandacan was constructed 90 years ago, at a time when the area was largely uninhabited. Nowadays it is a densely populated district and the depot lies close to children's playgrounds and water supplies. For years residents have complained of the stench of the oil depot and their concerns have been supported by several studies showing health problems among local inhabitants. Meanwhile the oil companies are alleged to have bribed local officials to continue operating in Pandacan.