Revealed – insurer covering the sunk Philippine oil tanker

Lawyer asks claimants not to sue

Revealed – insurer covering the sunk Philippine oil tanker


By Kenneth Araullo

The owner of the MT Princess Empress revealed that the sunken Philippine oil tanker is insured by the Shipowners’ Club, and the payouts to be provided by the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPC), an intergovernmental effort that provides compensation for oil pollution that occurs in its member countries.

The Shipowner’s Club is a mutual insurance association that provides protection and indemnity to smaller and specialist vessel owners, operators and charterers across the world. It is a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs (IGP&I).

The MT Princess Empress, which was carrying 800K litres of oil when it sank in Oriental Mindoro, is insured for $1 billion, according to an earlier report.

No need to file a case, says insurance lawyer

In a new report from Rappler, Valeriano del Rosario, the lawyer representing the insurers, said that there is no need for the oil spill’s victims to file separate individual civil and/or criminal cases against the ship’s owner, RDC Reield Marine Services. He said that filing a case for compensation can take three years if filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

On the other hand, claims manager May Valles said that while the process of getting compensated via the claims caravan could take months, there is a theoretical chance that a victim could get paid after 30 days if they are able to complete the claims forms with supporting documents. Valles also promised progress in the claims processing within three to six months, but also said that the huge number of claimants will prolong the process.

The insurer announced a claims caravan last week, which was originally intended to launch Monday. However, the four claims processors that have since arrived in Calapan City will still need to train staff of the provincial legal office in the next three days. Victims looking to get compensation can get and fill their respective claim forms starting Friday.

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