PRINCESS EMPRESS CLAIMS SUBMISSION OFFICE FAQ
The Shipowners’ Club and the IOPC Funds have set up a joint Claims Submission Office to process third party claims arising from the pollution damage caused by the Princess Empress oil spill. These FAQs are intended to assist potential claimants in their understanding of the claims process. Further updates to these FAQs may be necessary as the collection and processing of claims continues.
1. Can I make a claim?
Anyone who has suffered a loss or incurred costs as a result of the pollution damage caused by the PRINCESS EMPRESS incident can make a claim. This includes but is not limited to individuals (eg fishermen, fish vendors, fishing boat owners), businesses (eg hotels, shops or restaurants) and employees of such businesses, as well as local and national authorities.
Claimants are expected to demonstrate that the loss suffered is as a direct result of the spill and must be able to show the amount of their loss or damage by producing accounting records or other appropriate evidence.
2. Are there any forms available?
There are four claims forms available to all claimants (see below). Depending on the circumstances, these claims forms may be subject to change but this does not affect in any way a claim you might have made previously and does not have an impact on the requirements for the submission of your claim.
Claim form for economic losses in the fisheries, marine farming and processing sector: for loss of earnings/income you have suffered due to the spill or due to your inability to operate as a result of your fishing/marine farming property being oiled.
Claim form for economic losses in the tourism sector: for loss of earnings/income your business has suffered due to the spill.
Claim form for property damage: for costs incurred in repairing, cleaning or replacing property damaged or oiled as result of the spill.
Claim form for clean-up costs and preventive measures: for costs incurred in taking measures to prevent or mitigate pollution damage on the shoreline or at sea. This also includes costs incurred by local and national authorities as a result of the spill.
3. Where can I obtain a form?
The forms are available and can be downloaded from the following websites : https://iopcfunds.org/princess-empress-information-for-claimants/ and https://www.princessempressinformationcentre.com/claims-en in English and Tagalog. Forms are also distributed on the ground by the Claims Submission Office. The forms are free of charge.
4. Where can I submit my claim?
Only personnel from the Claims Submission Office is authorised to collect and receive claims on the ground. To submit your claim, you can do any of the following:
Visit one of the claims collection centres/caravans and submit your form to an authorised Claims Processor working for the Claims Submission Office. The mayor of your municipality and barangay captain will be aware of their visit; or
Post your completed form to Princess Empress Claims Submission Office, ABBJ Building, Sto Nino, Calapan City, 5200 Philippines; or
Email your completed form to CSO_PE@iopcfundsclaims.org
5. When will the claims caravan visit my barangay?
The Claims Submission Office is doing their best to visit the affected municipalities and barangays as soon as possible. The mayor of your municipality and barangay captain will be officially contacted by the Claims Submission Office so that a date and location can be determined for the visit of the claims caravan. During this visit, authorised Claims Processors will distribute forms, conduct claimant interviews and process claims. Please note claim caravans can undertake multiple visits in one area so you will be given the opportunity to present your claim if you have suffered a loss.
6. Do I need any form of legal representation to submit my claim?
To submit your claim, you are not required to be legally represented. The only requirement for the submission of your claim is the completion of the form and the provision of evidence to support your loss.
7. What documentation should I provide in support of my claim?
Claimants have to prove their loss by providing appropriate evidence. Each claim form includes a checklist of requirements/supporting documentation which should be provided. Please read the checklist carefully before you submit your claim or visit one of the claims centres.
You should at a minimum bring a proof of identification such as a fisherfolk ID, national ID, driver’s licence (see annex 2 for the shortlist of government-approved IDs). You should also bring proof of your business. This could include:
Your business registration (eg mayor’s permit)
Your fishing boat registration (LGU or BFAR). If your economic loss extends to more than one boat, please bring a copy of the registration certificate for all the boats. If you are employed on a fishing boat, you could bring a copy of the registration from your employer. Alternatively, you could specify on the form the full name (first, middle and last name) of your employer. Please clearly note on the form that you are the employee and not the owner. If your salary is a share of the catch, please specify on the form.
If you wish to provide documents other than those listed in the form, you can do so. It is strongly advised you bring the documents with you to one of the claims collection centres. Claims processors will make a copy and attach them to your claim.
8. What happens if I do not have all the documentation from the checklist to support my claim?
With regards to the requirement to present documents, there is a degree of flexibility depending on the particular circumstances of the claimant. Claims collectors will take any documents you wish to submit in support of the claim. It is advised you bring your documents with you when you file your claim so copies can be made.
9. Is there a time limit to submit my claim?
Claims should be submitted as soon as possible and, in any event, no later than three years from the date on which the damage occurred. For example, if your loss started at the beginning of a fishing ban on 6th March 2023, you have until 6th March 2026 to submit your claim.
10. Can I submit more than one claim?
Yes, you can submit more than one claim if you have suffered different types of losses. For example, you could submit a claim for property damage and a claim for economic loss.
As claims for future losses are inadmissible, you could also make claims for different periods. For example, if you have suffered a loss due to the fishing ban, it is likely your loss will continue in the future until the ban is lifted. You could submit a claim at different intervals eg from the start of the ban until the date of your claim submission
11. Am I entitled to claim if my business hasn't stopped due to the spill?
To make a claim for economic loss, you don’t need to have stopped your activity. You are entitled to claim even if you are still operating. Your claim should demonstrate there is a loss of income around this time of year due to the spill compared to previous years. Evidence of income from previous years would be required. To account for business disruptions during Covid, you can provide information about your revenue for years prior to Covid.
12. What should I do if the computation doesn’t reflect the losses I have suffered?
The tables for the computation of the loss in the annex of the forms are for reference only and are intended to assist claimants. If, following the computation, the overall claimed amount doesn’t reflect the loss you have suffered, you can use a different method of calculation of your loss and write it on a blank sheet of paper. Please make sure it is attached to your form. However please note that essential information regarding your gross income, expenses/costs before and during the spill and any savings you have made because of the spill should be specified.
13. What happens after my claim has been submitted?
Your claim will be processed at the claims office and an electronic record will be created using a unique identification number for your claim. We will contact you using the phone number or email address you provided on your form to inform you of your claim number. This is your link to your claim and is the means by which information about the status of your claim can be given.
For claimants who were given a control number (see Figure 1), please note this is a different number to the unique claim identification number and was only temporary as the systems were being set up. Once we have contacted you, you can disregard this control number and use the unique identification number above.
Figure 1 Control number (temporary)
Once your claim has been submitted and processed, it will be allocated to experts jointly appointed by the Shipowners’ Club and the IOPC Funds who will review the information, the computation of the loss and supporting documents/requirements. If there are any queries about your claim, you may be required to provide additional evidence. The decision regarding the level of compensation will only be made by the Shipowners’ Club and the IOPC Funds upon consideration of the claim. The Claims Submission Office is not involved in the assessment/review of the claim nor the decision regarding the level of compensation.
14. What should I do if my loss/damage does not match any of the forms currently available?
Should you wish to claim for other types of losses not covered by the currently available forms, you should contact the claims office by email at CSO_PE@iopcfundsclaims.org or visit the claims office/claims caravans, and, at a minimum, provide a form of identification and supporting evidence to demonstrate you have suffered a loss as a result of the pollution damage caused by the Princess Empress spill.
15. What criteria are being used to assess my claim?
Claims are assessed according to criteria established by the Governments of IOPC Funds Member States including the Philippines. These criteria are set out in the 1992 Fund’s Claims Manual, which is a practical guide on how to present claims for compensation. Sector-specific guidelines for claimants are also available in English, French or Spanish via the publications section. For more information on the types of claims admissible for compensation, please refer to the IOPC Funds’ website on www.iopcfunds.org.
16. What format should my claim be provided in?
You can submit your claim in paper to the claims collection point at the Provincial Capitol, Oriental Mindoro, Calapan, 5200 Philippines or to the claims caravans during their visit to the affected barangays.
If you have access to a computer, you can submit your completed form and documents electronically using the address CSO_PE@iopcfundsclaims.org. Depending on the claim, where possible, formats such as Excel spreadsheets to present records of expenditure are recommended.
Claims can also be submitted by post to the following address: ABBJ Building, Barangay Sto Nino, Calapan City, 5200 Oriental Mindoro Philippines.
17. How long will it be until I receive compensation?
The Claims Submission Office doesn’t have information about the length of time it will take for the review of your claim and for compensation to be received. Claims Processors only collect and process claims and assist you in fulfilling the requirements. You will be contacted with information regarding the status of your claim.
Annex – Example list of Government-issued Valid ID
SSS (Social Security System)
Philippine Identification System (“PhilSys) or the PhilSys Number (“PSN”)
Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) ID
Senior Citizen’s ID
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Certification/4Ps ID
Tax Identification Card (TIN) with picture and signature
Pag-IBIG (Home Development Mutual)
GSIS (Government Service Insurance System)
PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) ID
IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) id
Person with Disability (PWD) ID issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) or its regional counterpart, Office of the Mayor, Office of the Barangay Captain, DSWD Office and other participating organization with Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Health (DOH)
IDs issued by National Government Offices (e.g. Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Health, Department of Justice) including Government-Owned and -Controlled Corporations (GOCCs)
School/Student ID for currently enrolled students, 18 years old and above, issued by reputable schools/colleges/universities recognized by the Department of Education (DepEd) or Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) signed by the principal or head of the academic institution
IDs issued by the Offices of the Local Chief Executives (Governor, Vice- Governor, Mayor and Vice Mayor) including Fisherfolk ID
Claims Form Download
Princess Empress Claim Form – Fisheries
Princess Empress Claim Form – Property Damage
Princess Empress Claim Form – Tourism
Princess Empress Claim Form – Clean Up