Authorities from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Eastern Palawan on Monday, March 7, deployed improvised oil spill booms and other floating barriers as they brace for the threat of the oil slick from the sunken fuel tanker in Oriental Mindoro once it reaches their coastal waters.
The local government units (LGUs) of both towns, resident volunteers, and other stakeholders have come up with multiple tools and techniques that they can deploy to try and halt the oil from spreading and then cleaning it up from the waters and land areas. This includes the use of a dispersant spray that will break down the compositions of oil to make it less harmful to the marine ecosystem and the shoreline of the island towns.
The PCG Palawan District predicted that if the oil slick fails to be contained as soon as possible, it may reach the coastal shores of Araceli, Dumaran, Agutaya, and Cuyo by Saturday, March 12.
“Based sa ating ginawang aerial survey, by March 12, aabot na sa atin ang oil spill,” PCG Palawan Commander Dennis Rem Labay said on Monday, March 6.
This may result in a swimming and fishing ban and massive damage to the marine environment in the waters.
On February 28, the oil tanker MT Princess Empress sank off the coast of Balingawan Point, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro prompting the Philippine government to scramble to prevent ecological disaster and looming health issues on the side of the affected residents.
MT Princess Empress, according to reports from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was carrying at least 800,000 liters (211,338 gallons) of industrial fuel oil when it sank in Oriental Mindoro, which is roughly over 275 nautical miles from Palawan.