Philippines: Mindoro oil spill now affects nearly 150,000 residents

Mindoro Oil Spill
Photo courtesy of the Philippine Coast Guard.

Progressive groups are demanding proper compensation for tens of thousands of fisherfolk affected by the recent oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported on Saturday that the number of affected residents has increased to 147,293, including 196 injured, 13,658 affected fisherfolk/farmers, 117,067 MIMAROPA residents, and 30,226 Western Visayas residents due to the sunken MT Princess Empress.

The agricultural sector has incurred damages worth around P3.85 million, with 10 cities and municipalities declaring a state of calamity.

Assistance worth P47.69 million has been provided to affected communities in MIMAROPA and Region VI, including medicines, clean drinking water, and family food packs.

Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), a militant fishers’ group, is demanding “complete accountability” from RDC Reield Marine Services, the company that owns the sunken vessel, for the spill, including payment for ecological damages, proper compensation to affected communities, and the expenses of clean-up and rehabilitation costs.

According to Fernando Hicap, the national chairperson OF PAMALAKAYA, the oil spill has had a severe impact on the livelihoods of fisherfolks and the environment and is expected to do more damage as it reaches Palawan and other nearby provinces. –