MANILA — Efforts to clean up parts of Oriental Mindoro hit by the MT Princess Empress oil spill are now 74 to 80 percent complete, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Thursday.
PCG said in a Facebook post that its incident management team has completed 74.82 percent of its cleanup efforts in Naujan town, while the cleanup at Pola town was 80.71 percent complete.
"The oil spill response team said they cleaned 28 out of 34 kilometers of affected shoreline in Pola and five out of seven kilometers in Naujan," the PCG said.
Three barangays in Pola town were also declared 100 percent clean: Tiguihan, Zone 1, and Zone 2.
The PCG report was based on a resurvey of several barangays in Pola, namely: Misong, Tagumpay, Puting Caco, Tiguihan, Bayanan, Zone 1, Zone 2, Batuhan, Calima, Buhay na Tubig, and Bacawan; including Barangay Masaguing and Barangay Herrera in Naujan.
Despite this, the PCG noted that some 7 kilometers of shoreline in Pola and 2 kilometers in Naujan were still contaminated with oil.
Other government agencies, meanwhile, continued cleaning up the affected shorelines by flushing, pressure washing on hard surfaces, pebble washing, and manual cleaning.
"Moreover, the PCG continuously monitors the vicinity waters for possible new oil sightings," the Coast Guard also said.
The report came more than 2 months since oil tanker MT Princess Empress sank off the coast of Oriental Mindoro while carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel.
Pola was among the areas hardest hit by the oil spill. Mayor Jennifer Cruz earlier said the damage to the town had already reached P130 million.
Some 193,000 residents have been affected by the spill, with the overall damage estimated at P3.8 billion, according to an April 27 report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Earlier this week, London-based International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds offered to pay settlements to residents affected by the oil spill.