Joint statement by IOPC Funds and Shipowners’ Club on anniversary of Princess Empress incident

Posted: 27/02/2024
Categories: News – Incidents

28 February 2024 marks one year since the Princess Empress sank in rough seas off the coast of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro whilst carrying 800 000 litres of fuel oil as cargo.  This caused pollution damage to the coast of Mindoro island, which later extended to additional areas south of the island.

The Philippines is a Party to both the 1992 Civil Liability Convention and the 1992 Fund Convention. The IOPC Funds has therefore been working in close cooperation with the insurer of the Princess Empress, the Shipowners’ P&I Club, since the incident occurred.  This has included opening a joint Claims Submission Office (CSO) and the organisation of mobile claims collection centres to facilitate the submission of claims for compensation by those affected in remote areas.

The Club and the IOPC Funds have issued the below update on the latest situation with regards to claims for compensation.

Payment of claims

The Shipowners’ Club and the IOPC Funds are pleased to report that, since the process of payment of eligible claims commenced in early September 2023, the CSO has found innovative ways to facilitate the payment of compensation to over 8 000 claimants, many of whom were in remote locations and without traditional bank accounts. The majority of claimants are in the fisheries sector, i.e. individuals involved in fishing, fish trading, fish processing or marine farming who suffered an economic loss due to the spill.

Payment of compensation to eligible claimants in the fisheries sector was made in the following municipalities by the end of 2023: Baco, San Teodoro, Calapan, Naujan, Pinamalayan, Bansud, Gloria and Caluya. The Club and the IOPC Funds would like to commend municipalities and barangay captains for their continued cooperation.

We are also grateful to the municipality of Pola for their cooperation, which has allowed the CSO’s team to proceed with payment activities to eligible claimants from Pola in February 2024.

We are pleased to report that payment of claimants in the tourism sector has also commenced.

The CSO will continue with the payment of claims in the fisheries sector as soon as the final assessment of individual claims is complete and a decision on compensation has been made by the IOPC Funds and the Shipowners’ Club.

Collection and assessment of claims

The CSO has continued to collect claims from individuals in the municipalities of Oriental Mindoro. This includes coastal and non-costal barangays.

With the assistance of barangay captains, the CSO also gathered additional required information from claimants whose claims were lacking supporting evidence in Oriental Mindoro and Antique. Guidance on, and examples of, the types of evidence required to support claims can be found here.

We wish to remind the public that the CSO does not get involved in the assessment of claims. The assessment is carried out by local and international experts jointly appointed by the Shipowners’ Club and the IOPC Funds.

Final assessment of fisheries claims is ongoing, and we hope to provide further progress updates in the very near future.

Assessment of tourism claims continues with the assistance of the CSO. Good progress is being made and over 1 000 claimants have been visited to date to seek additional information necessary for the assessment of their declared losses. We would like to thank claimants for their cooperation.

Other activities

At the invitation of the Philippine Coast Guard, the IOPC Funds, the CSO, and ITOPF participated in a two-day claims and compensation workshop related to the Princess Empress incident in November in Manila. Read more here.

Looking ahead

The Shipowners’ Club and the IOPC Funds will continue to work together to provide eligible claimants with fair and prompt compensation.  The CSO will remain open with its trained staff available to assist claimants with the claims process.  Information for claimants continues to be made available via both the IOPC Funds’ website here and via MT Princess Empress Incident Information Centre (

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