MANILA - The United States Coast Guard and some of its air assets will arrive in the Philippines to help in the clean up operations of the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.
According to Defense Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the US Coast Guard will be sending a contingent in the country.
“We are looking forward to the arrival of the entire US Coast Guard contingent for the additional technical support in our disaster response operations. Although, one US C-17 with equipment (60K loader) already arrived this morning and is now at Subic Air Base. Another C-5 is expected to arrive tomorrow,” Galvez said, as quoted by a Palace statement, on Sunday.
The C-5 is the US Air Force's largest and strategic airlifter.
Galvez, along with other disaster and Philippine Coast Guard officials, conducted an aerial inspection of the oil spill affected areas early Sunday morning.
According to Galvez, the updates from the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations have been a great help to the government.
He also said the Japanese ROV found that the sunken oil tanker, MT Princess Empress, “suffered extensive structural damage after sinking.”
“At this point, no visible consumption fuel leak coming from the damaged vessel. Oil leaks had been observed from all 8 compartments (tanks). Some through ballast tanks. Volume of remaining oil inside the compartments cannot be estimated at this point. Oil spillage rate from the source is likewise yet to be determined,” Galvez added, quoting the findings of the Japanese team.
The oil spill has affected various areas in the Mimaropa region and in Western Visayas.
According to Malacañang, the Marcos administration and other non-government organizations have so far extended more than P96 million worth of assistance to residents in the affected areas.
Galvez, likewise, said a total of 10,206 liters of oil waste and oily water, and 72,643 kilos of oil contaminated debris were collected in the shoreline clean-up operations.