U.S. pays large compensation sum to Philippines over previous USS Guardian reef damage

By Finance

The U.S. has paid 87m pesos ($1.97m: £1.28m) to the Philippines as compensation for the damage inflicted on a protected reef.

The Philippine Foreign Ministry reported that the money, which was the full amount requested, was paid back in January and is to be used for the restoration process of the reef, as well as for its future protection.

The USS Guardian minesweeper ran aground on the Tubbataha Reef, which happens to be a Unesco World Heritage Site, back in January of 2013.

USS Guardian hull

A section of Guardian '​s hull being removed by the US Navy contracted crane vessel M/V Jascon. Image: Wikipedia

The minesweeper damaged over 2,345 sq m (25,240 sq ft) of coral.

The vessel was eventually dismantled in order to avoid the causing of any more damage. The U.S. issued an apology and discharged three officers, as well as the ship’s commanding officer, for not following standard procedures.

In May of 2013 a U.S. Navy investigation concurred that the mishap had been "wholly preventable" and was the result of poor planning along with "numerous" errors.