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DSWD extends aid to oil spill-affected families in Oriental Mindoro

The Department of Social Welfare and Development on Saturday distributed assistance to families affected by the oil spill from the sunken motor tanker MT Princess Empress in Oriental Mindoro.

In a statement, the DSWD said that Secretary Rex Gatchalian personally led the distribution of aid on March 4, under the department’s Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations, and cash-for-work programs.

“This will be a sustained endeavor while the oil spill prevents our fisherfolk from conducting their regular livelihood activities,” said Gatchalian.

Likewise, he said that over 7000 affected families across six municipalities in Oriental Mindoro -- Naujan, Pola, Pinamalayan, Bongabong, Gloria, and Bansud -- have already started receiving family food packs on Friday, distributed since Friday in close coordination with Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor.

“The number of affected families may even reach 10,000 but the DSWD is ready,” said Gatchalian.

Moreover, Gatchalian promised that DSWD will give 10,000 family food packs (every four days) to affected families in the province.

The agency will also conduct a cash-for-work program by next week to help residents recover from the incident.

On the other hand, the DSWD said its quick response was made possible under the directive of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

“The government, through the DSWD, is prepared to provide various forms of assistance to families and individuals affected by the oil spill caused by the submerged MT Princess Empress in Oriental Mindoro,” the President said on his official Twitter account.

Meanwhile, the Field Office MIMAROPA (Region 4-B) and the Social Welfare and Development Team (SWADT) Oriental Mindoro, together with Provincial/ City/ Municipal Quick Response Team (P/C/MQRT) on-duty are closely monitoring and coordinating with the concerned Provincial/ Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (P/MDRRMC) for other necessary updates.

Currently, DSWD-MIMAROPA office has prepositioned more than P78.9 million worth of standby and stockpile funds composed of some 42,400 family food packs and standby funds amounting to P7.2 million, which can be tapped to augment assistance to affected municipalities in Oriental Mindoro.

The DSWD said it will continue to monitor the affected local residents to ensure that their needs are immediately met. —LBG, GMA Integrated News