DOH on Puerto Galera ban: Not yet, but don’t swim there

The Department of Health (DOH) said there is no reason yet to impose a ban on water activities in Puerto Galera even as it advised the public “not to take a bath there.”

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the resort town has conducted random sampling but the results were not yet conclusive.

“Nagkaroon sila ng random sampling ng test across the different areas where Puerto Galera has been included, pero hindi pa conclusive nga kaya hindi pa natin masasabi,” said Vergere.

Earlier, Governor Bonz Dolor disclosed that Puerto Galera and four other areas have failed four consecutive water quality tests following a massive oil spill.

Dolor said the results of the test were released on Friday night, adding that even the town’s drinking water did not pass the quality evaluation.

Vergere clarified that the tests conducted only revealed traces of grease on the affected shorelines and that they have yet to yield conclusive results.

“For now, DOH is really advising the public not to take a bath there and not to drink the water because may mga contaminants na tayo na nade-detect,” she said.

Vergere also recommended that people watch out for symptoms such as itching and rashes if they have frolicked in contaminated water.

Those who may have ingested water contaminated with oil slick may experience stomachaches, vomiting, and loose bowels, while those who inhaled it may feel nauseous, she said.

“If ever na nakapag-swimming kayo sa mga may contamination, what you need to do is to really wash it off with soap and water and then monitor,” Vergere said, adding, “Pag may mga ganiyang sintomas at you know you took a bath in contaminated water, go to your doctor.”

The oil spill from the sunken MT Princess Empress has caused widespread destruction in several towns across Mindoro and neighboring areas, polluting the water, shorelines, and marine life.


Puerto Galera water fails four quality tests, raises safety concerns

DOT chief Frasco takes a dive in Puerto Galera, shows it’s oil spill-free

puerto galera beach
Photo courtesy of the Municipality of Puerto Galera

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