Oriental Mindoro oil spill costs gov’t almost P1 billion — OCD
MANILA, Philippines — The government has spent almost P1 billion to cushion the effects and fix the damages caused by the oil spill, which began in Oriental Mindoro, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said on Thursday.
“The aid from the government by way of direct assistance to the affected communities is now more than P630 million,” said OCD administrator Ariel Nepomuceno in a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, referring to the assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
“But if we include the operating expenses, it will not fall below P300 million plus, so we are spending nearly a billion, that is our direct expenses,” Nepomuceno added.
Nepomuceno clarified that this did not yet include the environmental damage.
“We still don’t know how big the environmental damage is,” he pointed out.
This spillage incident covered 262 villages in Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Antique, and Batangas, affecting 200,244 people including 27,513 fishermen.
The oil spill ensued after MT Princess Empress sank on February 28, in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro after experiencing engine trouble due to rough sea condition.
The siphoning operations that are part of the final phase of the clean up of the oil spill could end this month.