Movement of sunken MT Princess Empress closely monitored as it may hit Malampaya pipeline

By GMA Integrated News

Authorities are monitoring any movement of the sunken MT Princess Empress in waters off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.

According to Sandra Aguinaldo's report on "24 Oras", the vessel might hit the Malampaya pipeline.

Other oil companies are being asked to assist in the efforts and if needed, the help of other countries would also be sought.

This developed as  Philippine Coast Guard is preparing to control the spread of the oil from the sunken tanker.

PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo said the PCG drew lessons from when 2.1 million liters of bunker fuel spilled after MT Solar One in waters off Guimaras.

This developed as it is difficult to retrieve industrial fuel from a depth of 300 to 400 meters.

“Meron naman tayong mga lessons sa Guimaras and meron tayong paghahandang ginawa,” Balilo said.


However, the Coast Guard had difficulty in placing the oil spill containment boom due to the strong current.

The residents in Pola town used coconut leaves to prevent the oil reaching the shoreline.

“Maaring maging sanhi ng pagkasira ng ating marine environment, maapektuhan po yung ecosystem at maaari ring magkaroon ng problema yung mga tao, maari po silang magkasakit,” Balilo said.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) ordered the PCG and Marina to conduct an investigation.

“Meron na pong directive ang DOTr na magkaroon ng investigation doon sa paglubog ng barko ang inatasan PCG at Marina. Mas malamang pag iisahin ito,” Balilo said.

The Guimaras oil spill left around 7,000 residents affected, while 70 families displaced, and one dead after inhaling toxic chemicals.

Meanwhile, at least 1,143.45 hectares of marine reserve were also affected in Guimaras oil spill in 2006. —Richa Noriega/NB, GMA Integrated News