Metro Manila, Philippines— The oil spill off Oriental Mindoro has affected 80% of the 34 marine protected areas in 10 municipalities, the local government reported Friday.
“Mayroon tayong total na 26 marine protected areas down to Bulalacao from Naujan na affected ng oil spill,” a provincial agriculture official said in a press conference.
[Translation: We have a total of 26 marine protected areas down to Bulalacao from Naujan that were affected by the oil spill.]
The 10 city and towns are: Calapan City, Naujan, Pola, Pinamalayan, Gloria, Bansud, Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, and Bulalacao.
The spill has also affected the livelihood of over 10,000 fisherfolk in Pinamalayan, Gloria, Bansud, Bongabong, Roxas, and Mansalay, she added.
As of Thursday, the slick was seen 10 kilometers from the shoreline of Mansalay.
According to the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Naujan, the tanker encountered engine trouble and drifted towards waters off Balingawan Point due to rough sea.
A day after the spill, the Philippine Coast Guard conducted an aerial surveillance and reported the slick in the province could be five kilometers long and 500 meters wide.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier said it is also monitoring the area for potential harm to life and livelihood.
Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga said the agency will conduct “disaster forensics” to analyze the projected spread and prevent further damage to marine protected and other biodiversity areas.