QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. assures that the government is on top of the oil spill incident after a tanker carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil sank off the coast of the Oriental Mindoro province last week.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia Loyzaga immediately flew in to the town of Naujan to determine the extent of the damage while the Philippine Coast Guard conducts off-shore marine actions to contain the spread.
That oil has since reached the shores of several nearby fishing villages which also affected the livelihood of communities.
President Marcos instructs government agencies to carry out cleanup operations and assures affected communities that the government will extend assistance particularly through the cash-for-work program.
“Ang aking instruction sa — well together, DOLE, DSWD, ‘yung cleanup. Kasi ‘yung mga mangingisda, hindi makapangisda ngayon, bawal mangisda at kaya’t wala silang hanapbuhay. Pinalitan natin ng cash-for-work program dahil sila ngayon ang maglilinis,” President Marcos said during a media interview on the sidelines of the Kadiwa ng Pangulo launching in Quezon City.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) commits to provide alternative livelihood assistance to affected fisherfolks with an initial allotment of P4 million. A post-harvest training and equipment particularly 10 units of smokehouses for fish processing will be provided. The main source of income of fisherfolks was disrupted since the local government is enforcing a fishing ban in the affected areas.
The Department of Health also distributes personal protective equipment (PPE) to local officials and residents of Pola affected by the oil spill.
An Incident Command Post has also been set up by the provincial government in Naujan to monitor and coordinate the efforts of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) and the members of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council including the containment efforts of the Philippine Coast Guard and the coastal clean-up of the fishing communities.
Meanwhile, Japanese government is sending a disaster relief team to help the Philippines contain the spread of oil spill in Oriental Mindoro province. The team will be composed of oil control experts from the Japan Coast Guard.
The University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute had estimated that around 20,000 hectares of coral reef, 9,900 ha of mangroves and 6,000 ha of seagrass may be affected by the oil spill.
The Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro already declared a state of calamity for nine months in over 76 coastal barangays in the following nine municipalities affected by the oil spill:
Further, the local government of Caluya also declared the island town in Antique province under state of calamity due to massive devastation brought about by the effects of oil spill.
This declaration will help authorities extend aid to communities affected by the oil spill and would allow the national Government and local government units (LGUs) to utilize appropriate funds to hasten the relief, recovery and rehabilitation efforts in the affected areas among others.
The government is committed to helping the affected areas in restoring and regenerating the damaged marine ecosystems and in supporting the fisherfolks whose livelihoods will be affected. (KSAA – PIA CPSD)