US Pays Compensation for Tubbataha Reef Damages

The U.S. government has paid the full requested amount of close to USD 2 million (Php 87 million) as compensation for the damage caused to Tubbataha Reef by the grounding of the USS Guardian.

The Avenger-class ship USS Guardian (MCM 5) ran aground on Tubbataha Reef on January 17th, 2013, approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island, while transiting the Sulu Sea.

According to the Philippine Government, the compensation will be utilized for the protection and rehabilitation of Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Portions of the fund will also be used to further enhance capability to monitor the area and prevent similar incidents in the future,” the government said.

The US government is also providing additional assistance to the Philippine Coast Guard to upgrade the PCG Substation in Tubbataha.

The U.S. Navy’s minesweeper USS Guardian had to be dismantled and removed in sections from the reef.

Fortunately, there was no oil spill from the vessel carrying approximately 15,000 gallons onboard at the time.

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