The country is losing P5 million per day as fisherfolk continue to suffer from the fishing ban imposed in several areas affected by the oil spill from the sunken motor tanker off Oriental Mindoro, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said Monday.
BFAR chief information officer Nazario Briguera said that 19,000 fishermen in nine municipalities in Oriental Mindoro were affected by the oil slick from the sunken MT Princess Empress, which was carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel.
“With the 19,000 affected fisherfolk…tinitignan po namin na estimate is P5 million ang nawawala araw-araw dahil sa hindi pagkakaron ng hanap-buhay ng mga mangingisda habang nakasara ang pangisdaan kung saan sila naghahanap-buhay,” he said in a public briefing.
(With the 19,000 affected fisherfolk, we estimate that P5 million is lost every day as fishermen lose their livelihood due to the fishing ban.)
Fishing in oil spill affected areas in Oriental Mindoro was prohibited due to possible water toxification.
Due to this, almost half of the residents in the concerned towns were affected as fishing was their only source of livelihood, according to Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor.
BFAR earlier said that the oil spill, which has also reached nearby provinces like Antique, Palawan, and Batangas, will not cause a nationwide shortage of fish.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) meanwhile said that at least 151,000 individuals or 32,000 families were affected by the oil spill.
DSWD Assistance Bureau Director Miramel Laxa said that the government's cash-for-work program provided P116 million worth of cash assistance.
Program participants are paid to help make improvised oil spill booms and absorbents, and establish backyard gardens and community clean up drives. — DVM, GMA Integrated News