MANILA – The entire province of Oriental Mindoro will be placed under a state of calamity, Governor Humerlito “Bonz” Dolor said Thursday.
“Kagabi po, dahil sa pinakahuling report na natanggap ko, mula sa (Department of Health) tsaka sa (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), nag-utos na rin po ako sa (Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office) kagabi na ihanda ang rekomendasyon para sa deklarasyon ng state of calamity for the entire province, hindi lamang po para sa area na naunang naapektuhan ng oil spill,” he said.
(Based on the latest report I got from the DOH and the DENR, last night I asked our PDRRMO to prepare their recommendation to dcelare a state of calamity in the whole province.)
Large parts of the province were affected by an oil spill caused by the sinking of tanker Princess Empress which was carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil.
Thousands of fishermen and their families are now part of the government’s cash-for-work program after fishing bans were imposed in the affected waters.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development said it has given at least P38.1 million in aid to affected families.
A Japanese remotely operated vehicle (ROV) has found cracks on the surface of the sunken vessel. Dolor said they have now found bags that can help address the leakage from the cracks.
“Meron pong 23 na leaking areas doon sa MT Princess Empress. Para po temporary matakpan ito, lalagyan ng bag, parang ipapasok yung leak sa loob ng bag, isi-seal po. Para yung oil, hindi po humalo sa tubig,” he said.
“Yung specialized bag...yung unang batch nasa Manila na po, parating na po ito sa Oriental Mindoro anytime.”
(There are 23 leaking areas on the MT Princess Empress. We will temporatily cover these leaks with bags then seal the bags so the oil doesn't seep into the water. The first batch of specialized bags are already in Manila, they will arrive here anytime now.)
“Maganda rin po, nakakita na po sa Pilipinas, doon po sa Cavite area, ng kumpanya, na pupuwede pong mag-customize ng bag na ito,” he added.
Dolor said the towns of Baco and San Teodoro, which are near Calapan City, are already affected by the oil spill.
The two towns are facing the Verde Island Passage.
"Yung pong mga marine protected areas natin sa Baco at San Teodoro, mayroon na rin po siyang presence ng grease and oil beyond the standard... First time ko itong iko-confirm dahil lumabas na yung official results. Wala sa shoreline pero nasa dagat," he said.
"So ibig sabihin, hindi na safe maligo at hindi na rin siya safe pangisdaan for now."
The governor added that almost all coastal areas in Oriental Mindoro have traces of grease and oil.
Dolor said 75,532 households from Bulalacao, Roxas, Mansalay, Bongabong, Bansud, Gloria, Pinamalayan, Naujan, Pola, Calapan City, Baco, Victoria, and San Teodoro are affected by the oil spill.
He said he is asking for more food packs from DSWD.
- with report from Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News
--TeleRadyo, 30 March 2023