Marine scientists assess damage of tanker aground in Pangasinan

The local government of Bolinao is waiting for the assessment and valuation of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UPMSI) on the extent of damage brought about by the tanker stranded on the coast of Barangay Patar here.

Lawyer Ayar Montemayor, designated focal person of Bolinao, said the scientists from UPMSI arrived in the area Wednesday and would start the inspection.

They will help us assess and evaluate for the claims from the tanker's insurer/s, he said in an interview Wednesday.

Montemayor added that based on the initial investigation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Environmental Management Bureau Ilocos regional office, some 1.2 hectares of the area have been affected.

In order to move the tanker, which allegedly encountered engine trouble and run aground our coast here, its content have been transferred to another tanker. We locked down the area for a couple of days and declined tourists to avoid any hassle, especially that the tanker carries a highly flammable chemical, he said.

Montemayor said the local government, together with the private enterprises, is also entitled with incidental claims for the days the tourist spot was locked down to tourists.

This is the fourth time a vessel runs aground our coast but this is the first time it happened in the town's tourist spot, he added.

Barangay Patar is known for its pristine white sand beach.

Meanwhile, PCG-Pangasinan petty officer-in-charge SN1 Jomarie Marquez, in a separate interview, said Chinese vessel M/V Chematic has been moved to a port at Sual, Pangasinan for repair since Dec. 29, 2019.

Repairs are being done to the tanker, he said.

M/V Chematic has 23 crew members, 20 of whom are Chinese nationals while three are from Myanmar.

The vessel was from Brunei and was heading to Ningbo, China when it encountered engine trouble on Dec. 8, 2019

Source: Philippines News Agency