Hold ship owners accountable for Mindoro oil spill, fishers urge

Hold ship owners accountable for Mindoro oil spill, fishers urge

/ 02:12 PM February 15, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — A fishers’ group appealed to the public on Thursday to closely monitor the developments in the case against the owners of MT Princess Empress to ensure they will not be let off with just a slap on the wrist.

MT Princess Empress was carrying 800,000 tons of industrial oil when it sank off Naujuan town in Oriental Mindoro on February 28, 2023, resulting in damage to people’s livelihood amounting to almost P1 billion, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ estimate.

READ: Mindoro oil spill ruins nearly P1 billion in livelihood sources


“We will closely monitor the progress of this matter. We also call on the public, who cares for the environment, not to allow this company that fails to comply with regulations to escape accountability to prevent similar incidents from happening again,” Pamalakaya National Chairperson Fernando Hicap said in Filipino.


On Wednesday, the Department of Justice recommended criminal charges against the vessel’s owners, RDC Reield Marine Services Inc., over the falsification of documents.

READ: DOJ endorses raps over Mindoro oil spill

Citing his group’s data, Hicap said the spill affected 18,000 fisherfolk in Oriental Mindoro and its neighboring provinces.

He then appealed to authorities to make the tanker’s owners compensate the families of the affected fisherfolk.

“Along with the case to be filed is the sufficient compensation for the families of fishermen whose livelihoods have been severely affected for several months due to the oil spill,” the national chairperson’s statement continued.

“The owner of the sunken ship should compensate the fishermen for the lost income for each month that the oil leaked into their fishing grounds,” he added, citing data from the Center from Environmental Concerns which said that affected fisherfolk lost P7,500 per month due to the oil spill.


For his part, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla assured the public that those responsible for the oil spill would be held accountable.

READ: Slip and slide on oil spill

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TAGS: Mindoro, MT Princess Empress, oil spill

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