Residents affected by Mindoro oil spill rise to 147,300 — NDRRMC

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Residents affected by Mindoro oil spill rise to 147,300 â NDRRMC
Philippine Coast Guard personnel conduct coastal cleanup on Tuesday in Sitio Bagong Silang, Barangay Buhay na Tubig in Pola, Oriental Mindoro, which was affected by an oil spill from the sunken MT Princess Empress.
Photo courtesy of the PCG

MANILA, Philippines — Residents affected by the recent oil spill in Oriental Mindoro continue to swell as progressive groups push for proper compensation to tens of thousands of fisherfolk whose livelihood were affected within the area.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Saturday, around 147,293 have already been affected by the oil spill brought about by the sunken MT Princess Empress. It includes:

  • 196 injured
  • 13,658 affected fisherfolk/farmers
  • 117,067 MIMAROPA residents
  • 30,226 Western Visayas residents

Around P3.85 million worth of production losses or damages have already been recorded in the agricultural sector. In connection to this, a total of 10 cities and municipalities have already declared a state of calamity.

Basic commodities undergo an automatic "prize free" within areas under said state of calamity.

A total of P47.69 million worth of assistance has so far been provided to affected communities in MIMAROPA and Region VI, including but not limited to medicines, clean drinking water, family food packs, etc.

Accountability, compensation sought

Militant fishers' group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas is demanding the "complete accountability" of RDC Reield Marine Services, the company that owns the sunken vessel MT Princess Empress, for the spill.

According to the group, the company should pay for ecological damages and proper compensation to affected communities while shouldering the expenses of the clean-up and rehabilitation costs.

"The oil spill has severely impacted the livelihoods of fisherfolks and the environment, which will take years to recover. And it is expected to do more damage as it reaches Palawan and other nearby provinces," said Fernando Hicap, national chairperson OF PAMALAKAYA.

"We urge RDC Reield Marine Services to take full responsibility for the incident."

Hicap also demanded heavier penalties after the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) earlier revealed that the RDC Reield Marine Services "failed to submit required documents" for the oil tanker to operate. However, the Philippine Coast Guard claimed the tanker had a permit.

On Thursday, PAMALAKAYA along with environmental groups Earth Island Institute of the Philippines and Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment joined the Makabayan bloc in filing a House Resolution seeking to probe the Oriental Mindoro oil spill.

The University of the Philippines - Marine Science Institute earlier estimated around 36,000 hectares of coral reefs, seagrass and mangroves devastated by the oil spill.





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