Tanker capsizes, causing Oriental Mindoro oil spill

Tanker capsizes, causing Oriental Mindoro oil spill

Tanker carrying 800,000 liters of industrial oil capsized, causing the Oriental Mindoro oil spill, affecting several barangays in the area. Authorities are monitoring and containing the spill while providing assistance to affected residents. Photo: PCG

NATIONAL – A tanker carrying 800,000 liters of industrial oil capsized off the coast of Naujan on February 28, 2023. According to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the MT Princess Empress sank two days after the incident.

Since the incident, authorities have been on high alert for oil spills in the affected area. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) increased its efforts in response to the disaster and formed Task Force Naujan Oil Spill. The team is led by Marilou Erni, Environment Undersecretary and Chief of Staff, who served during the Guimaras oil spill in 2006.

The oil spill has affected several barangays in Oriental Mindoro, with at least 7,000 families receiving assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on March 4. DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian led the distribution of family food packs (FFPs) to residents of Naujan, Pola, Pinamalayan, Bonga­bong, Gloria, and Bansud towns in Oriental Mindoro.


Posted by Philippine Coast Guard on Friday, March 3, 2023

In an Operational Period Briefing, Gatchalian stated that they are set to distribute 10,000 FFPs to the affected towns every four days. The department will also launch a Cash-for-Work Program to help fisherfolk and other residents who have lost their livelihoods due to the oil spill.

Meanwhile, PCG reported on March 4, 2023, that the oil spill reached Caluya, Antique. It was observed along the shorelines of the following Caluya barangays: Sitio Sabang, Brgy. Tinogboc (1km), Liwagao Island, Brgy. Sibolo (2km), and Sitio Tambak, Brgy. Semirara (3km) (2km). In the affected areas, shoreline cleanup operations are currently underway.

DENR and other government agencies have reminded the public to avoid the affected areas and not engage in any activities that may worsen the situation. They also called on those responsible for the incident to take full responsibility and assist in the cleanup and rehabilitation efforts. —iTacloban

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