The celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8, 2023 also marked the 100th day of the sinking of the MT Princess Empress off the coasts of Oriental Mindoro. The oil spill devastating the Verde Island Passage and communities dependent on it has gone on for far too long.
To this day, 900,000 liters of industrial oil continue to leak into the waters of the Verde Island Passage. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the affected population of the oil spill includes 42,487 families and 200,244 persons as of June 9, 2023. According to the BFAR, losses totaling about Php 19 million are incurred each day as the oil spill passes.
100 days of the oil spill. As time continues to pass, these numbers only grow - and we must not forget that behind these numbers are real lives suffering the oil spill’s impacts.
In hopes of contributing to give face to the numbers, #ProtectVIP unveils 100 portraits of communities, civic groups, advocates, leaders, fisherfolk, youth, workers, and many others in and beyond the Verde Island Passage that are affected by and taking a stand for action and accountability on the oil spill.
With the overwhelming number of affected families and individuals from different areas of the Philippines, the individuals featured in these 100 portraits are only a fraction of the many that are affected by and are championing solutions and change in the aftermath of the February 28 sinking of MT Princess Empress.
Protect VIP continues to call on the national government to take concrete action in restoring the quality of lives of affected individuals and safeguarding the Verde Island Passage, and for polluters behind this oil spill to be held accountable.
Keep posted for more stories in days to come!
#KamiAngVIP: These are the faces of the Verde Island Passage.
Our deepest gratitude to the individuals who took part in this initiative, and to the many others taking a stance to protect the Verde Island Passage and seeking justice and action for impacted communities.