Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III has ordered the concerned government agencies to step up recovery and clean-up efforts as the oil spill affected the coastal communities in northern Philippine province of Cavite, a senior official said Saturday.
"The directive of the President is to make sure that we focus on the recovery and clean-up operations because many villages would be affected," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on a state-run radio station.
According to Valte, in a meeting Saturday morning called by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) with the representatives of oil companies, local government units (LGUs) and other stakeholders, they agreed to dispatch additional tugboats and marine environment personnel to assist the clean-up operations.
Residents in the coastal town of Rosario, Cavite reported to the authorities the oil spill Thursday afternoon. About half a million liters of diesel reportedly leaked in the area.
The municipality of Rosario declared a state of calamity Friday after officials said the spill damaged coral reefs in its municipal waters.
Valte said that the PCG will carry out investigation to determine which entity is accountable for the leak.
The PCG said samples taken from area hit by the spill matched the diesel being used by a fuel tanker that had earlier unloaded fuel at the Petron Corporation terminal in Rosario.