On March 8, the Government of Japan decided to dispatch to the Philippine Government the Japan Disaster Relief (JDR) Expert Team who will give advisory on oil removal and control in response to the oil spill disaster caused by a small tanker, which capsized and submerged off the coast of Mindoro Island.
1. Since the small tanker, MT Princess Empress, capsized approximately 20 kilometers east of Mindoro Island on February 28, its cargo fuel and diesel oil have leaked into the waters in the area.
The coastal region, such as the Province of Oriental Mindoro, has banned fisheries and observed oil sludge reaching the shores of fishing villages and mangrove forests, and the damages have been gravely affecting the living environment of approximately 65,000 residents in the area.
2. While the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), which received support for capacity enhancement from the Japan Coast Guard, is principally leading response activities of oil removal and control, the Philippine Government has made a request to the Government of Japan to dispatch experts who can supervise the activities.
3. Japan, in light of its amicable relations with the Philippines, has made the decision to dispatch the JDR Expert Team to the Philippines on humanitarian grounds and for marine environment conservation.
Japan hopes that this assistance contributes to the prevention of further marine contamination and to the restoration of marine environment, and intends to continue working closely with the Philippines.
[Reference] Overview of the Assistance
The Expert Team, consisting of eight members from the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, the Japan Coast Guard, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency will assist the conduct of the disaster survey as well as to supervise and provide counsel to the ongoing oil removal and control activities in the Philippines.
The Expert Team will leave for the Philippines on March 10.