The administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has promised to sustain the assistance being extended to the families affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro that already reached other provinces in the regions of Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) and Western Visayas.
As of Sunday, the oil spill has affected 32,661 families in Mimaropa and Western Visayas, the Region VI Task Force on Oil Spill reported during an emergency meeting in Iloilo City
The national government, local government units (LGUs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other partners provided a total of Php28.3 million worth of humanitarian assistance to the affected families, the task force reported.
Under President Marcos’ directive, different government agencies are carrying out programs aimed at assisting the local population affected by the oil spill in Western Visayas.
The task force said during the meeting that among the agencies involved in the humanitarian operation are the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the local government units in Western Visayas.
According to the task force, the DSWD is currently implementing a 45-day cash-for-work program involving 7,198 families (including off-site), which started last March 6. It said the beneficiaries could also avail of Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) and family food packs (FFPs).
The DOLE, on the other hand, has started the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program in the three areas of Caluya: Sibolo, 152; Semirara, 246 and Tinogboc, 66, through a 30-day work program.
TUPAD is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.
The government has so far identified 20 beneficiaries each from 10 municipalities for a total of 200 beneficiaries in the Province of Antique as requested by Gov. Rhodora Cadiao.
Authorities are reconciling the names of TUPAD beneficiaries with the DSWD to avoid overlapping of assistance.
Meanwhile, various government agencies are coordinating with the International Tankers Owners Pollution Federation Limited (ITOPH) on the conduct of a massive clean-up drive, identification of the debris staging area, as well as the dumpsite.
A private contractor for the oil spill clean-up is hiring 100 local workers to help the community. (PND)