CEBU CITY, (PNA) — 2GO Group Inc., owner of the sunken MV St. Thomas Aquinas, said it has spent at least P55 million to address the oil spill caused by the sinking of their passenger vessel near Lauis Ledge, Talisay City last Aug 16.
Earlier, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 Executive Director Isabelo Montejo wrote a letter demanding that 2GO and the Philippine Span Asia Carrier Corp. (PSACC) pay P41.7 million for the damage caused by the oil spill.
PSACC is the owner of the cargo vessel MV Sulpicio Express Siete that collided with Aquinas last Aug. 16, resulting to the latter’s sinking.
The St. Aquinas, which rested at the bottom of the some 130 feet below the surface, has leaked oil that affected the coastal areas of the town of Cordova.
Lito Salvio, 2Go’s assistant vice president for shipping management, said their company has already spent P55 million to address the oil spill.
The amount is at least P13 million more compared to the amount that DENR is demanding them to pay.
The shipping company had tapped the services of Malayan Towage which is said to be a “global oil spill expert” to help address the oil spill.
Malayan Towage deployed two tugboats and used a oil spill boom, solvent boom pads and sprayed chemical dispersants for several weeks to contain the leakage.
The company also hired some of the fishermen in Cordova whose livelihoods were affected by the oil spill in a food-for-work program.
It also conducted clean up operations in the affected area.
Salvio said the coastal area of Cordova affected by the oil spill is already 90 to 95 percent cleaned.
He said it is expected to be completely cleaned in less than a month.
When Aquinas sank, it was carrying 20,000 liters of diesel fuel, 120,000 liters of bunker or crude fuel and 20,000 liters of lube oil.
Most of the oil was siphoned off by the Malaysian Towage hired by 2GO.