The oil spill from motor tanker MT Princess Empress that sank off the vicinity of Nauian, Oriental Mindoro has reached the province of Antique.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PGC-6) confirmed the presence of the spill, a mix of industrial fuel and oil, in three barangays in the town of Caluya.

The oil spill-hit areas are Sitio Sabang in Barangay Tinogboc, Barangay Sibolo on Liwagao Island and Sitio Tambak in Barangay Semirara.

These villages were estimated to be about 129 kilometers from where the motor tanker sank on Feb. 28, PCG-6 noted.

Coast Guard District Western Visayas (CGDWV)Public Information Officer Commander Jansen Y. Benjamin said the oil spill affected around 150 families or 600 individuals on Liwagao Island.

As of Saturday, March 4, the volume of oil that had reached Sitio Sabang was estimated at 10 drums, according to PCG-6.

CGDWV Maritime Environmental Protection Force Commander Jonie B. Belarmino said the oil spill could not be contained using spill booms because of big waves.

“Oil spill booms are applicable only if the waves’ height is .5 meters or less. Since the reported waves were three to four meters, oil spill booms are of no use. They cannot stop or redirect the movement of oil,” he told reporters.

In a report by the Philippine News Agency, Antique Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao appealed to the national government for help them contain the oil spill.

“The oil spill is a grave threat to the seaweed and fishing industry in Caluya,” she said.

Meanwhile, the PCG-6 said there is a “very slim chance” for the oil spill to reach the island of Boracay in Malay, Aklan.

“For now it’s very remote and very slim chance considering the wind and current prevailing condition, which is the northeast monsoon,” Belarmino explained.IMT