The owner of the sunken MT Princess Empress said a remote operated underwater vehicle and its mother vessel will arrive on Monday to help locate the tanker.
In a statement, the RDC Reield Marine Services said their oil spill response is growing and evolving after getting advice from independent international oil spill expert International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPF).
The company said ROV “Hakuyo” is now en route from Japan onboard the workboat Shin Nichi Maru.
French oil spill response company Le Floch Depollution (LFD) and local oil spill response contractors have also established operation bases in both Pola, Oriental Mindoro and Semirara Island.
The sunken vessel is thought to be at a depth of 400 meters in an area approximately 15 kilometers northeast of Oriental Mindoro.
“We remain committed to the oil spill response and will continue to work closely with the Philippine government, the Philippine Coast Guard, local government representatives, international oil spill experts and contracted responders to ensure a unified approach,” RDC Reield Marine Services said.
For his part, Oriental Mindoro Gov. Bonz Dolor said the Department of Social Welfare and Development has extended the implementation of its cash assistance program to affected municipalities in the province to one month.
“Our cash-for-work program will now last 45 days instead of just 15 days,” Dolor said.
He said the cash assistance program will help 14,504 residents who were affected by the slick. Eligible participants would be paid the regional minimum wage every five days.
Beneficiaries may render hours on tree planting and coastal cleanup or food security intervention such as communal gardening and agricultural production.
The fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas said RDC Reield should pay for the ecological damage caused by the oil spill.
Pamalakaya said the company should provide compensation to affected communities, including over 18,000 fishermen and their families.