US commitment needed to span rehabilitation of Tubbataha Reef – solon
ZAMBALES Representative Mitos Magsaysay has lamented the damage to the coral reefs brought on by the USS Guardian, which ran aground on Tubbataha Reef last week and said that the US should speed up the recovery of the vessel and be held responsible for rehabilitating the damage to the site.
“We are all sorry for what has happened, but first, they need to speed up the recovery of the vessel because with each day it stays there, the damage grows. It has been several days already.”
Magsaysay said the US, aside from being fined for the damage, should also agree to help the Philippines in rehabilitating the site using whatever technology is available to speed up the process.
“There is no fine that can compensate for the damage to the corals, and based on studies, it will take years, even decades before it can return to the way it was. The US needs to understand what they must do to mitigate the loss of these precious natural resources. “
Magsaysay said that an agreement should be drafted between the Philippines and the US to ensure that the country stays faithful to its commitment to the Philippines since the process of rehabilitation may take years.
“We need their commitment that after they recover their vessel, they will not forget their responsibility to the area, as well as residents whose livelihoods have been affected by the mishap.”
The Tubbataha Reef is not only a marine sanctuary but also declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO for being the home to 600 species of fish and close to 400 species of corals.