Governor Humerlito Dolor of Oriental Mindoro has asked for help from outside the country to stop the oil spill from MT Princess Empress that sank.

In a press briefing, Dolor said that Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Hakuyo of Fukada Salvage and Marine Works, the salvors hired to salvage the ill-fated tanker, will remain in the Philippines to assist with the bagging method to catch the oil spill. 

“The bag, using the ROV, will be put down. Habang bumababa, lalabas yung tubig. Yung supot o bag ipapasok doon sa loob ng nagli-leak na portion, and using the ROV, hihilahin yung tali para magsara,” Dolor said.

“Kapag sarado na siya, yung oil lalabas at ma co-contain ng bag. Tapos, saka siya kukunin, papalitan ulit habang nagpro-proceed yung patching leaks,” he explained further.

The governor said they are now in touch with suppliers of the specialized bag from Singapore and the United Kingdom. When it gets there, a test will be done to make sure that it works with the ROV Hakuyo.

The US Coast Guard, which is currently in Oriental Mindoro, has offered their air-deployable ROV.

According to the latest report from the Philippine Coast Guard, the ROV Hakuyo, which was able to find the ground zero of the sunken tanker, saw that the MT Princess Empress had a lot of damage to its structure after it sank.

On the ship’s deck, oil was also seen coming out of ballast tank vents and access hatches, cargo tank pressure valves, and cargo pipework.

The PCG has identified the immediately required tasks to contain and mitigate the oil spillage, which includes patching leaks, hot tapping, and pumping.

“Ang purpose kasi is to immediately restrain yung effect nung laman [ng tanker]. They are going to extract the oil from the area,” said Mindoro Oil Spill incident commander PCG Commo. Geronimo Tuvilla.