PCG eyes completion of Mindoro oil spill cleanup by June 19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 10) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) projected on Saturday that the siphoning of the remaining oil from the sunken MT Princess Empress in the waters of Oriental Mindoro would be completed on or before June 19, earlier than the timeframe estimated by the National Task Force on Oil Spill Management.

"Nakita ko kasi iyong mga video niya na i-aakyat na iyong mga langis. May hose na nakakabit at dinadala na doon sa mga tangke doon sa loob ng barko at unti-unti nang nasisipsip at hopefully, by June 19, ay tapos na iyong siphoning operations," PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said.

[Translation: I've seen the videos of the siphoning. There is an attached hose which siphons the oil to a tank inside the ship so it slowly collects the spill. Hopefully the operations will be completed by June 19.]

Balilo added that the oil spill could no longer spread to the waters around the sunken vessel, as cleanup personnel made sure that any seepage was collected with a catch can.

The Fire Opal, a Dynamic Support Vessel chartered from Singapore to siphon the remaining oil, began the final phase of the cleanup on May 29.

The siphoning operations were expected to be done in 10 to 20 days.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier said he wanted the oil spill cleanup done within four months.

The MT Princess Empress was carrying 900,000 liters of industrial oil when it sank last Feb. 28 off Pola, Oriental Mindoro.