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Remulla asks OCD to mobilize divers to check oil spill

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Friday said he has asked the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) to mobilize its divers and help in measuring the rate of spillage of oil from the sunken MT Princess Empress in Negros Oriental.

“We want divers to come down to be able to calculate the rate of spillage to the ocean to know how much oil is pouring out of the tanker. And we ask the OCD to mobilize some of the divers to the Armed Forces,” he said in an ambush interview.

Remulla said the government has also hired a consultant to calculate how much, if any, oil is still left in the tanker.

He said this was discussed with Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. during the Thursday meeting of the Oil Spill inter-agency committee.

Meanwhile, the Korean Embassy on Thursday said it has deployed its coast guard to help in the oil spill cleanup.

The MT Princess Empress sank on February 28 off Najuan, Oriental Mindoro while carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel, affecting almost a hundred thousand residents in the province.

The Maritime Industry Authority has issued a cease and desist order against the company that owns MT Princess Empress pending an investigation. Applications for compensation for affected residents, meanwhile, will begin next week, according to insurer's lawyer.  —VAL, GMA Integrated News