Legarda wants ‘whole-of-government’ action to Oriental Mindoro oil spill
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda is pushing for a whole-of-government approach in responding to the effects of the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.
Legarda said on Thursday that she would file a resolution to look into the oil spill’s impact.
“I call on all our government agencies to implement speedy actions on the harms caused by the recent oil spill to reduce damage to our ecosystems and fishing grounds, to ease off its effects to coastal towns, which are reliant on fishing and tourism for income, and most importantly, to secure our kababayans’ (countrymen’s) health and safety,” she said in a statement.
Legarda likewise stressed the need to assist residents affected by the oil spill.
“It is imperative that we immediately provide the residents with basic needs such as water, food, face masks, and medicines while our local government units and agencies are conducting clean-up activities in the affected areas,” she continued.
Legarda, an environmental advocate, pointed out the need to review or revise the Oil Pollution Compensation Act of 2007, which states the liabilities of the owner and insurer of the shipping firm accountable for the damage.
The lady senator also encouraged coastal communities to be informed of health hazards to contribute to containment efforts, preserve evidence, and document damage during disasters to take advantage of any reimbursement for clean-up assistance or payment for the harm they sustained.
On February 28, an oil tanker carrying 800,000 liters of oil sank in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, resulting in an oil spill that spread to its neighboring provinces, including Antique.
A state of calamity was raised in over 77 coastal villages due to the incident, as it affected some 19,000 families.
To date, the Philippine Coast Guard continues its cleanup in the province.