April 15, 2023

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. visited Oriental Mindoro and conducted an aerial inspection of areas affected by the oil spill in the Province and other nearby communities.

The oil spill transpired on 28 February 2023 when the MT Princess Empress, carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil, was reported half submerged at the vicinity waters off the Municipality of Naujan in Oriental Mindoro. On 1 March 2023, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) declared the said vessel to be totally submerged following the conduct of seaborne and aerial searches.

As of this date, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reports that the oil spill has already affected around 37,871 families or 178,306 individuals from different parts across CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and Region VI. (https://monitoring-dashboard.ndrrmc.gov.ph/page/situation/effects-of-oil-spill-in-calabarzon-mimaropa-and-region-vi)

Likewise, data as of 3 April 2023 from the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reflected an estimated income loss of PhP388.7 million for Oriental Mindoro.

BFAR is continuously monitoring and evaluating the contaminant levels in seafood samples collected from affected areas to determine if fish and seaweed are safe for consumption. Last March, the fish and seaweed samples collected and analyzed from select sites in Oriental Mindoro and Caluya, Antique showed low-level contaminants or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), considered harmful to humans and other living organisms, and may accumulate in the flesh of living organisms over time.

In BFAR’s bulletin posted on 12 April 2023, the Agency recommended keeping fishing bans in oil spill-hit localities in Oriental Mindoro, stating that “since the initial analyses are not yet conclusive evidence as far as food safety is concerned”. (https://www.bfar.da.gov.ph/2023/04/12/oriental-mindoro-oil-spill-bulletin-no-02-series-of-2023/)

National government agencies, including other public and private institutions locally and abroad, continue to provide assistance to the oil spill affected communities.

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