PCG requests DOST oil analysis of Oriental Mindoro spill
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has collaborated with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to investigate the characteristics of the oil spilled in Oriental Mindoro and other areas.
“The PCG-DOST collaboration aims to improve investigation through laboratory analysis in oil biomarker fingerprinting through the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute and confirm the suspected source of oil that reached the coastlines of Oriental Mindoro, Antique, and Palawan,” the PCG said in a statement on Monday.
According to PCG, the DOST tapped Dr. Hernando Bacosa — an environmental science professor at Mindanao State University whose expertise in oil chemistry and fingerprinting analysis — as the lead expert in the oil spill investigation.
The two agencies conducted oil sampling in offshore and shoreline operations to verify oil weathering characteristics.
“The collected samples are used to identify the specific bacteria present in the environment, culture local superior oil-degrading bacteria, and monitor the fate of oil to provide clues for future oil spill events under Philippine conditions,” the PCG said.
Bacosa sought the assistance of the MSU in running the appropriate tests and looking through proper methods “for the determination of waterborne oil samples and oil residues that could be used as confirmatory evidence admissible in court and following internationally accepted standards.”
It can be recalled that last April 4, PCG’s Marine Environmental Protection Command also sent oil samples to laboratories in Japan and France for oil fingerprinting.
An oil spill ensued after MT Princess Empress sank on February 28 in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, after having engine trouble due to rough sea conditions.
The spillage reached Verde Island in Batangas and Taytay town in Palawan.
Clean-up operations by the PCG and local government have been ongoing since.