Oil spills cause P4.93 billion in damage in 2023 – PSA

Iya Gozum

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Oil spills cause P4.93 billion in damage in 2023 – PSA

OIL SPILL. Protect VIP (Verde Island Passage), a multi-sectoral group, holds a 100th-day oil spill protest at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources headquarters in Quezon City to coincide with World Oceans Day on June 8, 2023.

Gerard Carreon Photojournalist

Infrastructure and agriculture bore the brunt of extreme events and disasters in 2023

MANILA, Philippines – Oil spills in the Philippines caused P4.93 billion in damage, half of the total P9.29 billion incurred in human-induced disasters in 2023, according to a recent report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“The reported oil spill in various regions resulted in damages in the agriculture sector,” the PSA said.

The major oil spill event last year happened when MT Princess Empress, carrying 900,000 liters of industrial oil en route to Iloilo, capsized off the coast of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on February 28, 2023.

The Philippine government previously estimated that the Oriental Mindoro oil spill would cause P7 billion in environmental damage. Earlier this year, non-profit organization Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development gauged the damage at P41.2 billion.

Other human-induced disasters in 2023 were armed conflicts and fire incidents accounting for P4.36 billion in total damages. These affected 100,111 families with at least 340 people killed.

Other examples of human-induced events that figure in the data are vehicular accidents, mining incidents, and sea mishaps.

Meanwhile, natural extreme events and disasters like disease outbreaks, the El Niño phenomenon, tropical cyclones, and earthquakes, affected more than 3 million Filipinos last year with 157 people killed.

Damage caused by natural events and disasters was pegged at P24.49 billion, 17.5% lower from 2022’s P29.68 billion.

Infrastructure and agriculture incurred the most damage under both categories. The agriculture sector lost P15.21 billion while damage to infrastructure reached P18.31 billion.

PSA collects data from various government offices for its Compendium of Philippine Environment Statistics. Figures on extreme events and disasters came from the Office of Civil Defense.

The compendium aims to track and quantify the effects of both natural and human-induced events.

“This component compiles statistics on the occurrence of extreme events and disasters and their impacts on human well-being, and the infrastructure of the human subsystem,” the PSA said. – Rappler.com

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Iya Gozum

Iya Gozum covers the environment, agriculture, and science beats for Rappler.