The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) turned over more than 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) donations from San Miguel Corporation and Petron Corporation, and concurrently facilitated equipment assistance from the RU Foundry and Machine Shop Corporation (RUMSC) and the Ecological and Agriculture Development Foundation (AEDF) on Tuesday, March 21.
These initiatives are in support of the government’s cash-for-work (CFW) program for residents affected by the oil spill from the sunken MT Princess Empress.
DENR MT Princess Empress Oil Spill Task Force Commander Undersecretary Marilou Erni and Undersecretary Jonas Leones, together with DENR MIMAROPA Regional Executive Director Lormelyn Claudio and Environmental Management Bureau MIMAROPA Director Joe-Amil Salino, spearheaded the ceremonial turnover of the PPE to the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro led by Governor Humerlito “Bonz” Dolor.
The donated PPE includes masks and cartridges, gloves, and body suits to help ensure the safety and health of the locals engaged in the CFW program, which aims to expedite the spill containment and recovery while providing temporary employment to affected communities.
The PPE specifications are in compliance with the interim guidelines for oil spill response issued by the Department of Health.
“Aside from possible lung complications, contact with oil spill can cause itchy skin. That is why this [PPE] is a big help for us,” Governor Dolor stated on his Facebook Page.
The DENR has been coordinating with Dr. Rigoberto Advincula, former President of the Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering and now Professor at Case Western Reserve University, who facilitated the equipment assistance by RUMSC and EADF. The shredder and decorticator machine will be deployed for use of individuals engaged in CFW for their effective fabrication of provisional spill boom using locally available materials.
In a press conference before the turnover ceremony of PPE, Governor Dolor commended the proactive response and assistance of the DENR, including determining the exact location of the sunken vessel using bathymetric data.
“We are thankful that the possible location of the vessel generated by the BRP Hydrographer Ventura from DENR NAMRIA is the same location where the remotely operated vehicle found it,” he said.
The DENR, as a member of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, continues to strengthen its partnership with all of its stakeholders, including the private sector, to reinforce the national government’s integrated response and take lead in protecting marine ecosystems from the impacts of the oil spill incident. ###
- Published: 23 March 2023