US settles Tubattaha reef damage after 2 years

MANILA, Feb. 18 — Two years after the grounding of an American warship in January 2013 which caused damage to tubattaha reef, the United States finally settled the requested full compensation to the Philippine government.

This was known as the Department of Foreign Affairs made a statement issued on Wednesday, saying Manila received a total of P87,033,570.71 in compensation from Washington on Jan. 20, 2015.

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“The compensation will be utilized for the protection and rehabilitation of Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,” the DFA said.

Part of the fund will be used to further enhance capability to monitor the area and prevent similar incidents in the future.

In addition to the compensation received, the US government is also providing additional assistance to the Philippine Coast Guard to upgrade the Philippine Coast Guard Substation in Tubbataha, where over 4,000 square meters were damaged by the US minesweeper.

The US military had to dismantle the ship to remove it and to prevent further damage to the reef.

The ship’s officers and crew were also relieved by the US military following the incident for failure to adhere to standard navigation procedures.(PNA/ Michaela Del Callar)

Read related stories here: Compensation for damage on Tubbataha reef by US minesweeper an open case and here: Diplomatic protest on Tubbataha Reef damage unnecessary

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