Photo from PCO

The Department of Natural Resources (DENR) is aiming to fully contain the oil spill situation in Mindoro “within the month,” even as it continues to assess the ecological damage caused by the spill.

In a press briefing, DENR Sec. Toni Yulo-Loyzaga admitted it is “very difficult to say” how long it will take to fully stop the leaks, but the process is ongoing. 

“Hopefully, within the month or so the leakage will probably be contained definitely, and we will actually be able to say what kind of damage has been incurred in the ecosystems that are submerged in the water,” Loyzaga said..

Regarding the waters on the shoreline, the DENR plans to continuously test for contaminants, as the impact of the oil spill on ecosystems is long-term, according to Loyzaga.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported earlier that the oil spill from MT Princess Empress has been “significantly controlled,” but there is still one remaining pressure valve producing a “slow intermittent release of oil.”

The DENR is still analyzing the impact of the spill on ecosystems and areas affected. 

DENR personnel are in the process of physically assessing the damage, seeking assistance from experts such as the US Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (US NOAH), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other non-profit organizations to determine the extent of the damage.