Sunken oil tanker MT Princess Empress finally located | Inquirer News

Sunken oil tanker MT Princess Empress finally located

Artemio Abu. STORY: Sunken oil tanker MT Princess Empress finally located

Adm. Artemio Abu, commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has announced that it had located the sunken MT Princess Empress in the municipal waters off Pola town in Oriental Mindoro.

“The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria) has located the tanker. The Namria just gave it to us. The actual depth of the ship’s location is 389.1 meters and that is 13.89 kilometers northeast of Balisangan Point, Pola, Mindoro,” Adm. Artemio Abu, the PCG commandant, said.


On March 6, the tanker’s owner, RDC Reield Marines Services, said it would comply with its obligation and tapped two companies under the vessel’s $1-billion protection and indemnity insurance.


The Princess Empress was carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil when it sank on Feb. 28.

Abu said at a news forum on Saturday that the government was employing an inter-agency approach to address the oil spill within the four-month period prescribed by President Marcos.

But Abu explained that under the PCG’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, small oil spills that can be handled by private companies are considered to be Tier 1, those between 10,000 liters but less than one million are deemed Tier 2 and those involving more than a million liters are Tier 3.

“This is one is less than 1 million, so right now we are at Tier 2. So the coast guard will oversee the oil spill response,” the PCG commandant explained.

He admitted they did not have enough equipment, but an eight-man team from Japan arrived on Friday and the Japanese government has also committed to providing equipment, such as oil blotters, oil snares, and oil-proof working gloves, to aid the clean-up of affected coastal barangays.

The United States and South Korea also made a commitment to help the Philippines.


“Whatever help they can give us, response equipment, anything … Whatever they’re capable of giving us. They know what’s needed at this time,” Abu said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to start a cash-for-work program on March 15 and has been distributing relief to 19,000 Mindoro Oriental residents affected by the spill.

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Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the agency was also preparing to expand assistance to residents of neighboring Antique and Palawan who may be affected.


Mindoro oil spill victims reach 19,000

Cash-for-work program for oil spill affected residents to start March 15

PCG says Pola local gov’t eyeing suit due to oil spill

TAGS: MT Princess Empress, Oriental Mindoro oil spill, sunken ship

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