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    Posted June 6, 2014 by

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    U.S. to pay for Tubbataha damage in Phl

    AMBASSADOR Philip Goldberg on Thursday said United States until now is awaiting for the Philippine government to send the “compensation request” over the grounding of its USS Guardian (MCM-5) that damaged Tubbataha Reefs.
    Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship ran aground in the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (TRNP) World Heritage Site last January.
    Ambassador Goldberg, who has been in Puerto Princesa City in Southern Philippines since Wednesday for an official visit involving United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-supported Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (Compete) projects, said the accidental stranding of the USS Guardian in the Philippine marine protected site off the Sulu Sea was something they are sorry for.
    “We regret very much what happened and we’ve expressed that many times to the government of the Philippines as well as the people of the Philippines. It was an accident that we are very sorry it took place,” Goldberg said.
    The first, he explained, was agreeing to do a review of what happened, which had already been completed with the Philippine government, to ensure it will not happen again.
    Second, was holding the people responsible for the grounding accountable. “The people involved have received punishments as a result, and that’s very important,” he said.
    The third was “going to great lengths” to remove the ship with minimal damage off the atoll, where it got beached.
    “Lastly, there is the question of compensation, and we are awaiting for that compensation request from the Philippine government, and we will review it, and ah… we will review it, and ah… we are in the process of discussing it and that will come too. But ah… we will wait because that is a government-to-government matter. But we will address it also,” the Ambassador said.
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