LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The Vietnamese cargo vessel MV Ocean 3, which destroyed a marine sanctuary in Albay Gulf, has been allowed to leave the port here after its representatives paid the city government P4 million for the damaged coral reef.
Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal said the ship left Thursday night, 10 days after it ran aground at the Denson Reef on June 15.
More than 1,000 square meters of coral reef were destroyed in the incident.
“Our legal officer immediately filed a case against the owner of the vessel. The cost of damage and rehabilitation was based on a survey of the area conducted by a diver from our coastal management office,” Rosal said.
He said a check amounting to P4 million was paid to the city treasurer’s office.
Divers from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources inspected the vessel’s hull before allowing it to leave.
The city government facilitated the clearance from the PCG and the Philippine Ports Authority for the vessel.
“We will review the protocol for local and foreign cargo vessels visiting our port to avoid a repeat of the incident,” Rosal said.
The mayor ordered the city’s coastal management bureau to prepare and implement the coral reef rehabilitation plan.
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