The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vowed to heighten its oil spill containment activity in Oriental Mindoro province in collaboration with South Korean technical experts who are expected to arrive on March 28.
PCG commandant Admiral Artemio Abu met with Korean Minister Hong Soon Chang and Third Secretary Kim Dosik for the bilateral cooperation in containing the oil spill caused by the tanker MT Princess Empress that sank last Feb. 28 off Naujan town in Oriental Mindoro.
The Korean Coast Guard Response team of technical experts will be bringing in 20 20 tons of sorbent pads, 2,000 sets of personal protective equipment, and a 1000-meter spill boom.
In a statement, the PCG also said International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) technical adviser Andrew Le Masurier has briefed PCG personnel and gave technical advice on how to address oil and chemical spills.
Abu requested the IOPCF and P&I Club London for swift processing of the contracted remotely-operated vehicles.
The PCG also endorsed the extended working hours set by the Department of Health and a relaxed requirement on wearing PPE to immediately address the crisis.
Meanwhile, the owners of the sunken MT Princess Empress, RDC Reield Marine Services, said the response efforts on the oil spill was ongoing, with a detailed clean-up plan devised by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF) and the contractors as submitted to the government authorities.
The suggested clean-up techniques were being implemented at the coastal waters of Oriental Mindoro, where high-volume flushing and high-pressure washing of affected areas have started.
The PCG also said the contamination map of the impacted areas was nearing completion as the shoreline surveys continued across other sites identified as at risk or where the oil slick has been reported.
The RDC gave assurance that they are committed to the oil spill response and will continue to mobilize and support the Philippine Coast Guard, government authorities, and local government units in the area.