Photo from Provincial Information Office – Oriental Mindoro

The US government will help the Philippines in cleaning up the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, the Department of National Defense (DND) said on Tuesday.

In an update to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said his US counterpart Lloyd Austin had vowed to provide naval units to be deployed in the oil spill site.

“I had a phone call last night with Sec. Austin at 7:45 p.m. They are committed to help in coordination with Japan and other countries,” he said.

According to Galvez, the Philippine government plans to seek assistance from France and the United Kingdom, among other partner nations, to help contain the oil spill.

As of March 21, the oil spill has impacted 32,661 families in Mimaropa and Western Visayas.

Galvez said P28.3 million worth of humanitarian aid had been provided to affected families.

Coast Guard chief Artemio Abu earlier said that “several nations” had offered to help the Philippines complete the cleanup in under four months. John Ezekiel J. Hirro