Group estimates 2023 Mindoro oil spill damage at P41.2B

Group estimates 2023 Mindoro oil spill damage at P41.2B

/ 05:15 AM February 26, 2024

PHOTO: Fishing boats on a rocky part of a shoreline in Barangay San Andres on Verde Island in Batangas City STORY: Group estimates 2023 Mindoro oil spill damage at P41.2B

Fishing remains the main source of living on Verde Island, an area with rich marine biodiversity. (File photo by CLIFFORD NUÑEZ)

A sustainability think tank on Monday released a report estimating how last year’s Mindoro oil spill caused P41.2 billion worth of damage to the environment and fisherfolk livelihoods in the area.

The Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) report, which was released two days before the first anniversary of the spill in the Verde Island Passage (VIP), estimated P40.1 billion of environmental damage and P1.1 billion in socioeconomic losses.


“Catastrophic oil spills like the one in the Verde Island Passage are deadly, costly, and can forever change sensitive ecosystems. The oil spill has also impoverished the people not just of Mindoro but other surrounding communities that depend on the resources of VIP for their survival,” said Gerry Arances, executive director of the CEED.


800 percent higher

According to the CEED, the findings are 800-percent higher than government estimates that failed to account for significant impacts on communities and ecosystems.

“The government has yet to produce a comprehensive study detailing the full extent of the impact of the oil spill on the environment and livelihood,” Arances said.

“This delay not only undermines transparency and accountability but also hampers efforts to address the immediate and long-term needs of affected populations. In the absence of timely and accurate data, the VIP remains a silent victim without any protection afforded to it,” he added.

He pointed out that quantifying environmental losses in monetary terms highlighted the true cost of degradation and the urgent need for accountability.

READ: Oriental Mindoro oil spill affects nearly 173,000 people — NDRRMC

“It is imperative that polluters, including San Miguel, bear responsibility for restoring ecosystems affected by their actions,” he said.


Catholic priest Edwin Gariguez said reforms had gone unaddressed nearly one year after the spill. Fr. Gariguez is convener of Protect VIP, a coalition advocating protection of the VIP.

“As long as the VIP is not legally protected under the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System, [it] will never be safe,” he said.

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TAGS: Mindoro oil spill, oil spill damage

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