Almost a hundred thousand Oriental Mindoro residents have now been affected by the oil spill from the motor tanker that sank weeks ago, the provincial governor said Monday.
Interviewed on Super Radyo dzBB, Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor said the sunken MT Princess Empress carrying 800,000 liters has made its impact on the livelihood and daily lives of more than 99,000 individuals or 19,900 families.
“Medyo mabigat na po ang tama lalo na sa Pola na kung saan lahat ng barangay ay covered ng oil spill ang kanilang shorelines,” he said.
(The damage is quite heavy especially in Pola where the oil spill reached the shorelines of all barangays.)
Many fish have died, while some seagrasses, corals, and mangroves were damaged too due to the oil spill, he added.
Dolor said that 122 residents in the province already went sick because of the effects of the oil spill. Some of them had respiratory-related symptoms, while others experienced vomiting and diarrhea.
He expressed hope that the oil slick would no longer reach their other coastal barangays as only 13 out of the 77 areas declared under state of calamity have direct contact with the spill.
Members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday conducted a simultaneous massive cleanup in areas affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, specifically Naujan and Pola.
PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo said they still could not give a specific timeline when the oil spill will be thoroughly cleaned up, but President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has given them a four-month timeline.
Meanwhile, there are no more significant sightings of oil spill in Palawan, according to Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Jerry Alili.
The local government units are, however, still monitoring their respective municipal waters to contain other possible oil slick before it reaches their shores.
“So far, ang aming focus ngayon is doon sa follow up ng containment dahil doon sa unang isla, sa Casian, after ma-contain at ma-clear ‘yung oil slick na nakita doon ay wala na ring sumunod nitong mga sumunod na araw. Wala na ulit na sightings,” Alili said in a separate interview on Super Radyo dzBB.
(So far, our focus now is on the follow up of the containment of the oil spill. After the oil slick was contained and cleared in Casian, there were no more sightings in the next few days.)
“Yung mga nakikita natin dito ay spot-spot lang na maliliit, mga kasing laki lang ng kamao,” he added.
(The ones we only see here are just small spots that are just the size of a fist.)
As of Friday, the effects of the oil spill was seen in Barangay Casian in Taytay, Palawan — a town 159 nautical miles or 295 kilometers away from Naujan.
While affirming that Palawan is still safe from the oil spill, Alili said a seaweed farm in the province was reportedly affected by it. —KBK, GMA Integrated News