By Joann Villanueva

CLEAN-UP DRIVE. Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) is now working with several government agencies, the local government and affected residents to clean up the oil spill in Semirara Island in Caluya town, Antique province since March 4, 2023. This, after a tanker sank in Oriental Mindoro province last March 1. (Photo courtesy of SMPC)

MANILA – Stakeholders have continued their clean-up drive for the oil spill in Semirara Island in Caluya town, Antique province caused by a sunken tanker in Oriental Mindoro province.

In a statement, the integrated energy company, Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC), said it has teamed up with the Department of Energy (DoE), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Health (DOH), local government units (LGUs) and the affected residents for the effort to contain the oil spill since last March 4.

“The oil spill currently covers almost three kilometers of shoreline stretching from Sitio Sigayan and Sitio Toong of Barangay Semirara and Sitio Sabang of Barangay Tinogboc, affecting 341 households who mainly rely on fishing for livelihood,” it said, adding the oil spill reached Semirara Island on March 3.

The company said some 4,590 kilograms of oil-contaminated wastes have been recovered from the area so far.

The firm has provided accommodation, transport services and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the responders from PCG and DOH.

“An oil spill containment boom has also been installed one kilometer from the shoreline to protect the reseeded giant clams in Semirara Marine Hatchery in Tabunan,” it said.

Along with the village’s health workers, SMPC Infirmary has sent a medical team to the clean-up drive sites “to serve as on-site medics and to conduct a community health survey among the impacted households.”

The company added relief operations are currently being done for the 341 affected households, which were given food packs that include rice, canned goods, noodles and produce from its agro model farm and poultry model farm projects. (PNA)