The MT Princess Empress sank on Tuesday off the coast of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro Province. It was carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil when it suffered engine trouble on February 28 in rough sea conditions. The oil has since reached as many as 18,000 fishermen across 60 coastal villages. However all the 20 crew members were rescued by a passing cargo ship.
The marine biologists, university of Philippines said that about 36,000 hectares (88,958 acres) of coral reef, mangroves and sea-grass are also at risk from the spill.
The oil spill has caused the feeling of nausea, vomiting and cramps among the locals.
Earth Island campaign manager and analyst Robert Medrano said, “The marine protected areas where the fish lay eggs, if those are destroyed we will lose the fish reserve in our ocean.” The fishermen are not able to continue their livelihood the way they did before. The Oriental Mindoro Governor, Humerlito Dolor said, “Let me assure you, the damage done directly on our environment and our people’s livelihood will be given corresponding compensation depending on what it is stipulated in the corresponding guidelines.
For those whose livelihood has been affected the national government would hire the locals under a scheme to assist them. The cleanup would be completed within four months, the president of the Philippines said on Wednesday.