PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. expressed hope on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, that the cleaning up of the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro will immediately be completed.

In an interview with reporters in Quezon City, Marcos said he hopes that the cleanup will be finished in less than four months.

“Kasi ang Guimaras na oil spill apat na buwan bago na-cleanup. siguro naman this time, kasi mas bawas nang kaunti ang oil spill ay mas mabibilisan natin, kahit na hindi sa isang buwan. Hindi naman siguro natin paabutin ng apat na buwan,” he said.

(The Guimaras oil spill took four months before it was cleaned up. Perhaps this time, since the oil spill is slightly smaller, we can address it more quickly, even if not within one month. Surely, we will not let it take four months.)

Marcos was referring to the 2006 oil spill in Guimaras brought about by a sunken tanker carrying two million liters of bunker fuel.

It took the government years to completely address the damage caused by the incident.

The oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, which is currently affecting 10 municipalities, was caused by the sinking of MT Princess Empress that was then carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel.

The oil spill is also seen to reach other coastal islands including Palawan, Antique and Romblon.

Pola town Mayor Jennifer Cruz said according to experts, the cleanup may take six months to a year to be completed.

The government has already tapped Japan to seek assistance in containing the oil spill. (SunStar Philippines)