The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is monitoring a possible oil spill after an oil tanker sank off the coast of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on Tuesday 28th of February. Specifically, it warned that the oil spill caused by a sunken tanker in Oriental Mindoro could affect 21 marine protected areas.
ccording to reports, the MT Princess Empress encountered engine trouble and drifted towards the vicinity waters of Naujan due to rough seas.
The laden ship’s engine overheated, having encountered rough weather on a domestic trip. The ship then drifted and sank off the northeast coast of Mindoro with the 20 crew safely picked up by a nearby general cargo ship. The submerged ship is operated by local firm RDC Reield Marine Services.
MT Princess Empress was transporting 800,000 liters of industrial oil from Bataan to Iloilo when it drifted toward Balingawan Point due to rough sea conditions.
Access to the area was limited due to the bad weather. Observation of the impact has been limited to aerial survey.
The DENR is continuously coordinating with the local government of Naujan and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). The site in relation to the potential marine biodiversity impacts and the possible risk to lives and livelihoods in the area due to the direction of the current and distance from the shoreline which may be affected.
The vessel is positioned on the eastern side of Mindoro Island at an estimated distance of 8 to 12 nautical miles. Wind direction is northwards.
The Philippine Coast Guard has mobilized certified oil spill response organizations to support the PCG operations.