MANILA — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Saturday it will send aid to families affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.
DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said over 7,000 affected families in 6 towns have started receiving family food packs.
The DSWD has prepositioned more than P78.9 million worth of standby and stockpile funds, as the number of affected families is "expected to increase to 10,000."
The MT Princess Empress sank with its cargo of 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil as it sailed into rough seas off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on Tuesday.
The PCG said the vessel could be 300 meters under the sea, but expert divers could only reach 180 meters deep.
Marine experts have said that over 36,000 hectares of coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass may be affected by the oil spill.
The PCG advised residents from four municipalities in Oriental Mindoro to avoid fishing activities due to possible oil hazards.
In Liwagao Island, around 150 families or 600 residents have been affected by the oil spill, the agency said.