In this handout photo received from the Philippine Coast Guard and taken on March 2, 2023, a coast guard personnel collects water sample from of an oil spill in the waters off Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. (PHOTO / AFP)
MANILA – The Philippine authorities on Thursday scrambled to contain the oil spill caused by an oil tanker carrying around 800,000 liters of industrial oil that sank off the coast of Oriental Mindoro province.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spearheaded to clean up patches of emulsified oil along the shoreline of four coastal municipalities to prevent its spread. It said the oil spill has reached 35 nautical miles south of the sunken tanker.
The Philippine Coast Guard's spokesperson Rear Admiral Armando Balilo said if the source of the leak was pinpointed, the PCG would install spill booms and dispersants to prevent the pollutant from widening and reaching the shoreline
ALSO READ: Iranian official: Oil tanker attack won't go unpunished
PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armando Balilo said if the source of the leak was pinpointed, the PCG would install spill booms and dispersants to prevent the pollutant from widening and reaching the shoreline.
The oil tanker sank on Wednesday due to engine trouble.
The PCG has alerted its marine environmental protection unit team and other concerned local government units to proceed to the affected areas for shoreline clean-up.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has expressed concern the oil spill caused by the sunken vessel could affect 21 marine protected areas.
The oil spill that stretched several kilometers threatened the seagrass beds, mangroves, and dispersion pathways for spawned fish larvae in these areas, it said.
READ MORE: 10 sailors missing after US warship, tanker collide near S'pore
It has coordinated with experts in the private sector "to immediately address the emergency and create a mid-to-long-term risk management strategy for the affected areas."