POLA, Oriental Mindoro — Seventy percent of coastlines affected by the Mindoro oil spill have been cleared, Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor said on Saturday.
“We received the latest report yesterday. More than 70 percent of the coastlines are already finished with the clean up in an acceptable level,” he told reporters in a chance interview here.
“The rest of it is given to nature. Ibig sabihin it is up to nature yung paglilinis,” he said.
The progress is “on track” if measured based on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s pronouncement in March that the government is eyeing to finish the clean-up of the oil slick in 4 months.
After conducting an aerial inspection of oil spill-hit areas early Saturday, Marcos Jr. changed his earlier statement, saying that “there’s no deadline for the clean-up.”
“I cannot make a deadline for the clean-up. If the wind changes, iba na naman yung timing so it’s useless,” the President said in a separate interview here.
“There is not much we can do in terms of controlling the oil spill… We are at the mercy of weather,” he said.
“What we are now most concerned with is the clean up in terms of the actual beaches and actual oil that landed on the shoreline,” he added.
The government and other parties involved in the clean up are now sealing the leaks around MV Princess Empress, the President said.
“Ang susunod diyan ay hihigupin kung ano pa yung oil na natira na nandoon pa sa loob ng barko,” he said.
Marcos Jr. said the government’s priority is how to mitigate the effects of the oil spill in Mindoro, including the creation of alternative livelihood sources for affected residents.
“Ang mas mahaba na pinag-usapan namin ay kung ano ang magiging livelihood dahil matagal pa siguro bago makapangisda ulit dahil yung dagat ay hindi pa maganda ang sitwasyon o hindi pa na-clear,” he said.
The oil sleep from MT Princess Empress, which sunk in February, has damaged P445.33-million worth of fishing gear and produce, resulting into a P441.25-million profit loss for some 26,000 fisherfolk, BFAR data showed.