JDR expert team arrives in Oriental Mindoro
The six-member Japanese Disaster Relief (JDR) expert team arrived on Saturday in Oriental Mindoro to start assessing areas affected an oil spill from a sunken vessel.
In his Twitter account, Japanese Ambassdor to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa said: ''Touchdown, Expert Team!''
''Expert Team is committed to work with the Philippines in preventing further marine contamination and restoring the marine environment,'' added the ambassador.
The JDR expert team arrived in the Philippines last Friday.
The team, together with three other officials from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan Embassy in the Philippines led by Minister for Economic Affairs Nihei Daisuke, paid a courtesy call at the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) headquarters on Friday.
During the press conference, Nihei said the JDR expert team consists of five members of Japan Coast Guard, three of whom belong to the National Strike Team, an expert unit in oil removal and one member of JICA based in Tokyo.
"We are determined to make every effort to combat this disaster to mitigate, and save the ocean and save the livelihood of the affected community," he said.
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu said motor tanker Princess Empress was located 389.1 meters below sea level, and 13.89 kilometers northeast of Balingawan Point of Pola, which is the most affected by the oil spill.
Abu said the Japanese team has been briefed by the Philippine Coast Guard on the situation in Pola.
Around 4,259 families from 11 barangays of their municipality are suffering from the incident, Pola Mayor Jennifer Cruz said Friday.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said sunken vessel is estimated to be discharging 35,000 to 50,000 liters of oil a day. DMS