Manila demands $ 1.4 m from US for reef damage



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Sunday 7 April 2013

Last update 7 April 2013 3:27 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MANILA: The Philippines will ask the United States to pay 58 million pesos ($ 1.4 million) in compensation for damage caused by a US warship to a protected coral reef, the manager of the reef said yesterday.
The amount is based on studies by Philippine agencies including the coast guard that found the USS Guardian damaged at least 2,345 square meters (25,240 square feet) of the protected Tubbataha reef, park superintendent Angelique Songco said.
She said a letter requesting compensation would be sent to the US embassy next week, stressing this is the amount required by a law passed to protect the reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site in a remote area of the Sulu Sea.
“We don’t want to be dishonest. It is just a simple process: measure it correctly and then they pay. That is all. It is very straightforward,” she said.
Earlier estimates said as much as 4,000 square meters of the reef had been destroyed when the USS Guardian minesweeper ran aground on Tubbataha on Jan.17 but Songco said their studies found the damage was less than feared.
It took the salvage teams until March 29 to remove the last of the 223-foot USS Guardian, which had to be cut into pieces so it could be lifted clear without damaging the reef further.
The incident stirred nationalist anger with demands that the United States pay a large amount of compensation for damaging the reef, which is world renowned for its rich marine life.
But Songco said they would only ask for the required amount based on the affected area.
“I am not worried about criticism (for the small amount). We are not trying to put one over them and we hope they will do the same with us,” she said.
She said the last of the salvage ships had left Tubbataha but a team of US Navy divers and a US vessel remained in the area, assessing the damage.
The United States has apologized for the mishap and has said it would cooperate in addressing the damage.
The US Navy said in a statement yesterday that it did not want to speculate about the liability but would coordinate with the Philippine government to assess the damage to the reef.
“The Republic of the Philippines may submit to the Navy any and all information it believes relevant to determinations of coral reef damage,” the statement said.
The commanding officer and three crew of the USS Guardian were relieved of their duties over the grounding, the US Navy announced earlier this week.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The government has banned the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking at the holy sites during the Haj this year. Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Mohammed bin Naif, interior minister and president of the Supreme Haj Committee,...
RIYADH: The government plans to pay SR500,000 in compensation to the family of every person, regardless of nationality, who died from the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Health announced on T...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has launched a program to vaccinate all public and private sector workers on Haj duty this year.Launching the program at the ministry’s headquarters here on Thursday, Tarif Al-Ama, undersecretary for treatment services...
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal was briefed Thursday about Murooj Jeddah residential project, located in the eastern part of the governorate. Representatives of the Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company, the executing company...
ANKARA: The Kingdom plans to highlight the country’s economic progress and influence globally at the meeting of G-20 Ministers of Labor and Employment here this week, said Mufrej Al-Haqabani, Saudi Arabia’s labor minister. In a statement to the Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj in Madinah has employed women workers for the first time.Six women have been employed to work only during the Haj season, on the orders of Bandar Hajjar, the Haj minister, said Mohammed Al-Bijawi, director of the ministry...

Stay Connected

Facebook