The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) hosts the 𝐅𝐈𝐑𝐒𝐓-𝐄𝐕𝐄𝐑 𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐌𝐀𝐑𝐈𝐍𝐄 𝐏𝐎𝐋𝐋𝐔𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐄𝐗𝐄𝐑𝐂𝐈𝐒𝐄 (𝐌𝐀𝐑𝐏𝐎𝐋𝐄𝐗) 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐 in the vicinity waters off Manila Bay from 24 to 27 October 2022.
According to PCG Commandant, CG Admiral Artemio M Abu, this initiative improves the country’s preparedness and capacity in combatting large-scale oil spillage at sea.
Participating Coast Guard assets include the BRP Gabriela Silang (platform vessel), BRP Suluan (marine pollution response vessel), BRP Malabrigo (fire-fighting/dispersant vessel), BRP Boracay (search and rescue vessel). Coast Guard helicopter (CGH)-1452 will also exhibit its capabilities as a search, rescue, and reconnaissance aircraft.
The PCG Auxiliary, Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, Harbor Star Shipping Services Incorporated, RMS Petroleum Technology, Waste Management Corporation, and Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation also join the said exercise.
The NOSCOP’s incident command system simulated a scenario resulting in firefighting, abandoning ship, search and rescue to casualty vessel, securing the disaster and adjacent areas to prevent inimical elements from intrusion, and conducting oil spill response and recovery operations following the integrated maneuver plan.
The exercise reinforces the PCG’s mandate of protecting the marine environment by testing, evaluating, and improving the NOSCOP’s effectiveness. It also assesses the PCG’s oil spill response capability during major oil spillage occurring within the Philippine maritime jurisdiction.
Moreover, the initiative strengthens cooperation and capability in the said operations; and encourages the involvement of maritime stakeholders in the common effort to combat, control, and recover oil spillage during tier III level response.
Tier III level spills are broader in scale and scope, BEYOND 1,000 CUBIC METER OR ONE MILLION LITERS OF OIL SPILT, and can cause a major marine environmental impact. It also requires further resources from national and international sources that can be mobilized by the activation of the national contingency plans. This is an oil spill of great proportion and shall automatically activate the application of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCOP).
The National MARPOLEX 2022 is a replication of the biennial exercise between the PCG, Japan Coast Guard, and the Republic of Indonesia-Directorate General of Sea Transportation in the performance of its obligations as a member state in the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation, 1990 and as signatories to the Sulu-Sulawesi Oil Spill Network Plan, 1981.
Among tier III level of oil spill recorded by the PCG involved:
– MT Vector carrying 8,800 barrels of petroleum products collided with MV Doña Paz in Marinduque on 20 December 1987;
– MT Solar I which sank on 11 August 2006 causing more than two million liters of bunker fuel oil to spill into the gulf of Guimaras;
– NAPOCOR Power Barge No. 103 was damaged due to the strong winds and currents and drifted at a rocky shoreline of Barangay Botongon as Super Typhoon Yolanda hit the Municipality of in Estancia, Iloilo on 09 November 2013; and
– the oil spill on 08 August 2013 involving a white product suspected to be an Automotive Diesel Oil (ADO) which covered approximately four hectares from Rosario seen up to the shorelines of Noveleta, Naic, Tanza and Ternate, all in Cavite.