12 Mindoro towns affected by oil spill — DENR
MANILA, Philippines — Twelve out of the 14 municipalities in Oriental Mindoro have been affected by the oil spill caused by the sunken motor tanker MT Princess Empress, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on Saturday.
Based on the situational report of the DENR, the oil spill has reached the towns and cities of Bansud, Bongabong, Bulalacao, Calapan, Gloria, Magsaysay, Mansalay, Naujan, Pinamalayan, and Pola. The whole province was declared under a state of calamity.
Aside from municipalities in Oriental Mindoro, two towns were also affected in Palawan, namely Agutaya and Taytay; Caluya town in Antique, which was declared under a state of calamity; and Batangas City and Tingloy town in Batangas.
On February 28, the MT Princess Empress was reportedly half submerged in the vicinity waters of Balingawan Point, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, with 20 crew members onboard and 800,000 liters of fuel oil.
From Mindoro, DENR’s data showed that oil sightings were reported in Verde Island, Batangas City, on March 20, which spurred the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to elevate its response operations to Tier 3.
In response, the agency’s task force implemented cleanup operations, cash-for-work programs, and donations for locals affected by the oil spill.
To date, the DENR aims to sustain coastal water and air monitoring, oil spill recovery, cleanup, and proper collection, transport, and disposal of recovered wastes to TSD (treatment, storage, and disposal) facilities.
Aside from these, the agency also revealed that it plans to “introduce contingency measures to abate impacts on marine protected areas, mangroves, and other ecosystems.”
The DENR said that it also sought the help of other government agencies, such as the Office of the Civil Defense, the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute, among others, to create a recovery plan for the affected communities and local governments.
Oriental Mindoro oil spill caused illness to 191 people so far, says DOH
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