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Marcos: No need to appoint oil spill response chief

There is no need to appoint an official who will lead the government’s response to  the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday.

"The head of the task force for the oil spill is the Coast Guard. Admiral [Artemio] Abu heads it. So there’s no need. You see, there’s no need to organize something for everything," Marcos said in an interview with reporters in Taguig.

"The idea is to have the assets in place so that 'pag may mangyaring ganyan, may response na tayo [if something like that happened, we can respond]. We do not have to organize a special group, a special committee, a special task force. They’re ready already as it is," he added.

The Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change earlier said it would ask Marcos to assign an official who will lead the operation on the oil spill.

Senator Cynthia Villar, who chairs the committee, had floated the name of Defense officer-in-charge Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to head the operations.

Motor tanker Princess Empress was carrying around 900,000 liters of industrial fuel oil when it sank off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on February 28 due to strong waves. All 20 people on board were rescued.

The Presidential Communications Office has said the national government, local government units, non-governmental organizations, and other partners have provided a total of P28.3 million worth of humanitarian assistance to the affected families.  —KBK, GMA Integrated News