No new oil slick spotted in Antique; 3K sacks of oil-coated waste collected

Philippine Coast Guard District Western Visayas personnel inspect the shoreline of Brgy. Tinogboc, Caluya, Antique on  March 31, 2023. (PCG-WV photo)

By John Noel E. Herrera

No new traces of oil slick were sighted in Caluya, Antique, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), even as authorities and other volunteers continue to clean the remaining areas affected by the oil spill.

PCG-Antique station commander Lieutenant Senior Grade Rey Anacita said clean-up operations in Liwagao Island and in Barangays Algeria, Semirara, Sibolo, and Tinogboc in Caluya are now focused on mangrove areas as no new oil spills were reported on the shorelines.

Antique Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) earlier said that an estimated 60 hectares (has) of mangrove area in the province were affected by the oil spill due to the sinking of MT Prince Empress in Oriental Mindoro.

Anacita noted that 3,099 sacks, 119 pails, 111 bags and 441 drums of oil-coated waste and contaminated sand and debris have been collected already due to the oil spill.

A total of 464 Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantage/Displaced (TUPAD) workers of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and 200 cash-for-work employees of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are helping the PCG in the clean-up operations, particularly in mangrove areas, according to Anacita.

Anacita added that more than 500 oil spill booms from Camp General Leandro Fullon and the University of Antique in Sibalom are still on standby, which they can use if needed, as approximately eight kilometers of the island’s coastline have been affected by the oil spill.

Meanwhile, the DSWD-6 reported that they have already distributed a total of P40,821,536 worth of food and non-food items to the affected families.

Data from DSWD-6 indicated that they have so far distributed 12,300 family food packs worth P4,380,800; 95 non-food items composed of boots, modular tents, and sakoline worth P189,150, and a total of P36,251,586 financial assistance.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-6 earlier said that the oil spill has affected 7,618 families or 24,264 individuals across four areas in Caluya, Antique, which include Sitio Sabang, Brgy. Tinogboc; Liwagao Island; Brgy. Sibolo, and Brgy. Semirara.