UP Visayas initiates disaster response to Tablas Strait oil spill affecting Antique

UP Visayas Tablas Strait oil spill
The MT Princess Empress oil spill affecting Oriental Mindoro has now reached the coastline of Antique. Photo from the Province of Antique via UPV report.

The University of the Philippines Visayas (UP Visayas) has initiated moves to help in the disaster response to the Tablas Strait oil spill that has spread from the Oriental Mindoro area to the shores and communities of Antique, about 18 nautical miles west of Boracay in Aklan.

UP Visayas Chancellor Clement C. Camposano created a task force of experts to respond to the oil spill that has reportedly reached three coastline communities in Caluya, Antique, as of Sunday. The UPV Oil Spill Response Program’s first bulletin was also issued today for clean-up workers, based on the past experiences of UPV in helping address oil spills across the region.

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The UPV-IPO report today, March 6, 2023, said the committee is tasked to help in the assessment of damage to habitats and socio-economic impacts and provide technical advice to agencies leading the disaster response to the oil spill resulting from the February 28 sinking of MT Princess Empress, a tanker carrying 800,000 liters of industrial oil bound for Iloilo from Bataan.

The task force was set up “As part of UPV’s commitment to be of service to the nation by contributing its expertise for technical advisory services, damage assessment, environmental analysis, disaster mitigation for conservation and protection of our country’s precious marine resources and coastal communities,” the report added.

The task force is headed by UPV oil spill expert Prof. Resurreccion Sadaba, Ph.D., and co-chaired by Prof. Alice Joan G. Ferrer, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The task force is divided into three major teams: the Biophysical Team, the Socio-Economic and Health Team, and the Communications and Coordination Team.

The Biophysical Team is composed of Prof. Resurreccion Sadaba, Prof. Wilfredo Campos, Prof. Encarnacion Emilia Yap, Prof. Mae Grace Nillos, Prof. Harold Monteclaro, Assoc. Prof. Marie Frances Nievales, Assoc. Prof. Victor Marco Emmanuel Ferriols, Assoc. Prof. Ramer Bautista, Assoc. Prof. Sheila Mae Santander-de Leon, Assoc. Prof. Karen Villarta-Lane, Asst. Prof. Cristy Acabado, Asst. Prof. Jonalyn Mateo, Alan Dino Moscoso, and Anne Brigette Ledesma.

The Socio-Economic and Health Team is made up of Prof. Ferrer, Prof. Gay Defiesta, Assoc. Prof. Cheryl Joy Fernandez-Abila, Assoc. Prof. Reynold Tan, Asst. Prof. Serafin Malecosio, and Asst. Prof. Adrienne Marrie Bugayong-Janagap.

The Communications and Coordination Team is composed of Gerthrode Charlotte Tan-Mabilog, Anna Razel Ramirez, and Asst. Prof. Jonevee Amparo.

UPV says the task force will continue to release bulletins to create awareness and closely coordinate with point persons in the affected island communities to assist in their needs.

UP Visayas has also lent its expertise to Iloilo province for flood risk reduction resilience and continues to call for urgent climate action.

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