PCG: Burnt ship at Ormoc port may cause oil spill if typhoon hits

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A passenger ship carrying more than 500 passengers caught fire at Ormoc port in Leyte Saturday morning (August 15).

Ormoc City (CNN Philippines) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) fears the possibility of oil spill and damage to the Ormoc port if burnt ship MV Wonderful Stars, owned by Roble Shipping, isn’t transferred to Cebu City before a typhoon hits.

According to PCG Eastern Visayas commander Capt. William Isaga, a typhoon will enter the Philippines soon and they are concerned with the huge waves that may affect the ship.

Ormoc City Fire Marshall Romeo Jaca said that, based on the standard operating procedures of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Roble Shipping needs to secure a property recovery and clearing permit from the BFP headquarters before the ship can be moved.

However, Isaga believes it may take a while before Roble Shipping is issued a permit.

He added that there are places in Western Leyte, like Isabel and Palompon, where the ship can be moved to, but they lack facilities that’s why Cebu is the best place to transfer the ship.

The PCG also said its troops are prepared in case an oil spill happens.

The oil spill booms are ready, but Isaga said that it is better to make the necessary steps to prevent an oil spill.

The BFP in Ormoc, meanwhile, is prepared to continue the investigation in Cebu.

The fire was declared out at 11:30 p.m. on Saturday (August 15).