DENR forms task force to address Naujan oil spill


The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has formed a task force that will immediately address the oil spill in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.

The Task Force Naujan Oil Spill was created after an emergency meeting convened among the DENR, the Philippine Coast Guard, Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor, and Naujan Mayor Henry Joel Teves.

DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga has designated Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Marilou Erni as Task Force Commander, who previously served as the corporate ground response coordinator during the Guimaras Oil Spill in 2006.

Other members of the Task Force include Undersecretary Jonas Leones, Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna, Assistant Secretary and concurrent Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Director Gilbert Gonzales, Assistant Secretary and concurrent Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) Director Marcial Amaro Jr., Regional Executive Director Lormelyn Claudio, and representatives from the local government units: Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENR) Officer Alan L. Valle and Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Officer Rodel Boyles.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is the lead agency tasked with response operations in the affected area. The agency confirmed that the MT Princess Empress, which carries 800,000 liters of industrialized fuel oil, has already submerged.

With known coordinates, PCG will install spill booms to protect the locally-managed marine protected areas. The Task Force, in cooperation with PCG and the Philippine Air Force, will conduct an aerial surveillance in the coming days to further assess the situation.

The Secretary expressed the DENR’s full support and assistance to Dolor, Teves, and the other local governments affected.

The department has already coordinated with experts in the private sector to immediately address the emergency situation and create a mid to long-term risk management strategy for the affected areas.

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