MANILA — A fisherfolk group on Friday warned of possible massive fish kill and decline in fishing rates in areas affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.
According to Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas chairperson Fernando Hicap, the spillage will not stop unless the sunken tanker Princess Empress is retrieved.
"Ang nakakabahala dito compared mo dun sa Guimaras kasi ito hanggat hindi nakukuha ang barko sa ilalim ng dagat, hindi natin matitigil ang patuloy na oil spill," he told ANC's "Rundown".
In August 2006, an oil tanker sank off the coast of Guimaras, spilling more than 300,000 liters of bunker fuel.
Pamalakaya said the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, which has now reached to its neighboring provinces, would also cause hunger and destroy the livelihoods of fishermen.
Hicap urged the government to provide livelihood support to fishing families.
"Hindi subsidy. Dapat arawan ang sahod," he said. "Ang initial report sa amin, ang isang araw na paglaot ng mga mangingisda kumikita sila ng P2,000."
MT Princess Empress was carrying 800,000 liters (210,000 gallons) of industrial fuel oil when it sank more than a week ago off the central island of Mindoro, south of the capital Manila.
An oil spill boom was deployed after rough seas hampered earlier efforts to contain the slick.
The environment department has said that the submerged tanker might have been located.
It was believed to be about 400 meters below the surface, but a remotely operated vehicle would be needed to confirm its exact position.
— With a report from Agence France-Presse