DND seeks allies’ help in containing Mindoro oil spill

By Priam Nepomuceno

March 22, 2023, 1:52 pm

<p>DND chief Carlito Galvez Jr. <em>(File photo)</em></p>

DND chief Carlito Galvez Jr. (File photo)

MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) chief Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government will seek the help of the country's allies and partners to mitigate the adverse effects of the oil spill which was caused by the sinking of the M/T Princess Empress off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.

This includes expertise and technical support of other allies and partners, such as France and the United Kingdom, he added in a statement Tuesday night.

Galvez, who is also National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) chair, also stressed that they are on top of the situation.

"The DND, through the NDRRMC, and the local government units (LGUs) in Oriental Mindoro, have stepped up the government's efforts to immediately address the effects of the oil spill from the sunken M/T Princess Empress," he added.

The DND chief also noted that United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin assured him that the Washington D.C. is committed to providing assistance in managing the oil spill.

He also pointed out that a US humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) team is now on its way.

"The Philippine Coast Guard, on the other hand, specifically requested the US for oil spill booms. Pending the approval of the President to accept the equipment, these booms will help contain the oil spill in order to protect the environment and assist in recovery," Galvez said.

Meanwhile, a Japanese dynamic positioning vessel, the Shin Nichi Maru, which is equipped with a remotely operated vehicle or underwater robot, has arrived in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.

M/T Princess Empress was loaded with 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil when it sank last February 28.

Galvez further said the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro is also committed to providing daily needs such as meals, medicines and vitamins, to the teams conducting offshore control measures. (PNA)