Caritas Philippines gathers P4-M donation for oil spill victims
LUCENA CITY — Catholic social action arm Caritas Philippines has already pooled a total of P4 million in donations for those affected by the oil spill caused by the sunken tanker MT Princess Empress in Oriental Mindoro.
In a post on its Facebook page on Saturday, April 22, the Caritas expressed gratitude for the public support of their call for donations.
“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for your generous donations towards our efforts to protect the Verde Island Passage (VIP) and its communities. Thanks to your incredible support. We have received a total of P4,000,000,” Caritas said.
It added: “Your donations will go a long way in supporting the affected communities, helping them recover from the recent oil spill, and preserving the vital marine biodiversity of the VIP.”
The group said the struggle to protect VIP “is still a long way to go.”
“But we are heartened by your support and are more determined than ever to make a difference,” the Caritas said.
Caritas Philippines is a member of “Protect Verde Island Passage” (VIP), a network of civil society and faith-based groups, youth, and community stakeholders.
The network aims to safeguard VIP, a body of water between Mindoro Island and Batangas that has been recognized as the “center of global shorefish biodiversity” due to the high densities of marine resources in the area.
On the commemoration of Earth Day on April 22, Caritas Philippines joined the global community in calling “for bold action to protect our planet and create a more sustainable future.”
The group said that this year’s theme, “Invest in Our Planet” is a reminder that everyone has a role to play in protecting the environment.
It described the oil spill from MT Princess Empress as “catastrophic.” The oil tanker sank on Feb. 28 off Oriental Mindoro while carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel.
Large amounts of oil sludge found their way into the coastal waters and shores of Oriental Mindoro and have even reached as far as Caluya Islands in Antique, Taytay in Palawan and some parts of Batangas.
“The spill has devastated coastal communities and ecosystems, and it is a stark reminder of the dangers of pollution,” it said.
“We demand accountability and action from the polluters that caused this oil spill. We also call on the government to take immediate steps to protect our environment and ensure that such a disaster never happens again,” Caritas Philippines stressed.