US pays P87M for Tubbataha

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The United States has paid the Philippines more than P87 million as compensation for the damage the USS Guardian caused the Tubbataha Reef in January 2013.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said the US government has paid the “full requested amount” of P87,033,570.71 on January 20, 2015.

“The compensation will be utilized for the protection and rehabilitation of Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, a Unesco [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] World Heritage Site,” according to the DFA.

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

In addition to the compensation, the US government is also providing additional assistance to the Philippine Coast Guard to upgrade its sub-station in Tubbataha.

The USS Guardian ran aground on the reef, a World Heritage Site, on January 17, 2013 while on its way to Indonesia.

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