News Release

Gov’t, NGOs provide P43-M aid to areas affected by oil spill

The national government and the private sector have provided more than Php40 million worth of assistance to 74 areas in Regions 4-B (Mimaropa) and 6 (Western Visayas) that were affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. reported to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. that a total of Php 43.35 million worth of assistance has been provided to these areas from the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), local government units (LGUs) and non-government organizations (NGOs).

Galvez, who also chairs the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), reported that 31,497 families or 143,713 individuals were affected in 122 barangays, while the livelihood of 13,654 fisherfolk were also affected.

Meanwhile, at least 169 individuals were reported to have been injured or fell ill due to the oil spill.

A State of Calamity has been declared in the towns of Bansud, Bongabong, Bulalacao, Gloria, Mansalay, Naujan, Pinamalayan, Pola, Roxas in Oriental Mindoro and in Caluya, Antique.

Galvez noted that a total of 894 sacks of oil contaminated debris and 77.5 drums of waste for treatment were collected during the continuous shoreline clean-up activities.

President Marcos has instructed government agencies to intensify their cleanup operation on the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.

The chief executive has also assured the affected communities that the government will extend assistance particularly through the cash-for-work program.

Experts and coast guards from other countries have offered assistance to the country in containing the oil spill.

A response team with Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from Japan is expected to arrive on March 20 to help in the cleanup efforts.

“The Task Force managing the oil spill in MIMAROPA in collaboration with the LGU of Oriental Mindoro shall coordinate with the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration and Bureau of Quarantine to expedite the entry of the incoming response team with Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from Japan to arrive the country on March 20,” Galvez reported.

The ROV was provided by Harbor Star, a private company contracted by the insurance firm of the owner of the shipping company.

On the other hand, Malayan Salvage and Towing Corporation, a private company also contracted by the insurance firm of the owner of the shipping company, supports offshore oil containment.

Galvez said the Department of Transportation-Philippine Coast Guard will simultaneously look for an alternative ROV from a local source for the detection and recovery of the oil spill source.

Oil tanker MT Princess Empress sank last month and resulted in the spillage of thick industrial fuel oil.

It has been located 389.1 meters below sea level, and 13.89 kilometers northeast of Balingawan Point of Pola, Mindoro. (PND)