Oil spill impact on Pola worsens; mayor seeks livelihood alternative for residents
Pola, Oriental Mindoro Mayor Jennifer Cruz is appealing for an alternative livelihood program for her constituents as their area continues to suffer from the effects of the oil slick from the motor tanker that sank on February 28.
Interviewed on Super Radyo dzBB, Cruz said that more amounts of oil spill have reached their area, affecting their tourism and the livelihood of local fisherfolk.
“Right now, pahirap nang pahirap. Patagal nang patagal, mas marami tayong problemang nae-encounter. Nung una pagkain lang ‘yung pino-problema natin at paano kakasuhan at hahanapin ang may-ari. This time ang lumalaking problema natin ay parang nagiging domino effect na po,” she said.
(Right now, it's getting harder and harder. We encounter more problems now. At first we were only concerned about food and how we would sue and find the shipowner. But right now, our growing problem seems to be its domino effect.)
“Lahat po affected—tourism, hanap-buhay. Lahat po sobrang affected na,” she added.
(Everything is affected—tourism, livelihood ... everything is affected.)
Earlier this month, Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor suspended fishing activities in areas affected by the oil spill due to possible water toxification.
MT Princess Empress sank on February 28 off Naujan while carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel.
“For this time, ang pinakagusto na po nating tulong ay ‘yung alternative programs for the fisherfolks natin para pang-matagalan kasi ang sabi ng mga experts tatagal daw ito. Ang paglilinis lang is three months, more or less six months at least bago sila makapunta sa paglalaot sa ating karagatan,” Cruz said.
(Now, we want help in our alternative programs for the fisherfolks. We want it to be long term because experts say the oil spill impact will take a long time. Just the cleaning of the oil slick would take three months. It may take more or less six months before the fishermen could come back to the sea to fish.)
Cruz earlier said they are considering filing a case against the shipowner of MT Princess Empress.
She said that she will leave up the investigation on the matter to the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation. —LBG, GMA Integrated News