U.S. Govt Pays Compensation for Tubbataha Reef Damage
The Philippines Government has received the full requested amount of USD 1.9 million (Php 87 million), from the U.S. Government, as compensation for the damage caused to Tubbataha Reef by the grounding of the USS Guardian.
USS Guardian grounded in the Sulu Sea in Philippines on January 17, 2013. According to the Navy report, the Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship, had just completed a port call in Subic Bay and was en route to Indonesia and then on to Timor-Leste to participate in a training exercise when the grounding occurred.
The ship grounded approximately 80 miles east-southeast of Palawan Island.
The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs informed that 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.
In addition to the compensation received, the US government is also providing additional assistance to the Philippines Coast Guard to upgrade the PCG Substation in Tubbataha.