Oil spill affects over 193,000 people in Oriental Mindoro–NDRRMC

A total of 193,436 people have been affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The latest data released Saturday shows an increase from the council’s previous report, which put the number of affected people at 178,306. The current affected population translates to 40,897 families across Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Western Visayas.

Among the affected regions, Mimaropa fared the worst, with 153,173 people affected, followed by Western Visayas with 27,145 people, and Calabarzon with 13,118 people. The number of fisherfolk impacted also increased from 13,636 on Thursday to 24,698 on Saturday, according to the NDRRMC.

“A total of P279.7 million worth of assistance from the government, local government units, non-governmental organizations, and other partners, was provided to the affected families,” said the Office of Civil Defense in a separate statement released. A total of 15 cities/municipalities were declared under the state of calamity, and automatic price freezes are implemented in areas under a state of calamity.

The NDRRMC puts the cost of agricultural damage at P3.8 billion. Damage to fisheries was placed at P6.7 million.

The DENR is implementing the Cash for Work for Cleanup Operations program through a joint effort with DSWD, Department of Labor and Employment, and DOH.

“The recent spike in affected residents came from three more municipalities in Mindoro which were just recently added. We remind the public to be vigilant and cooperate with the government in their efforts to address the impact of the oil spill,” said the NDRRMC in a statement.

On February 28, the MT Princess Empress was carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel when it sank off the coast of Naujan, causing a massive oil spill.

Efforts to clean up the slick are ongoing, and the full impact of the incident is not yet known.

Oil slick seen from a helicopter. (Photo courtesy of Presidential Communications Office)

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