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DILG eyes designating 'fishing areas' in oil spill-hit Oriental Mindoro

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said it is planning to set fishing areas for fisherfolk who are affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.

In a statement, the DILG said it will issue a joint memorandum circular with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on the sharing of fishing grounds between local government units.

“The DILG and BFAR will adopt a cluster approach to ensure that all affected fisherfolks will have a place to go and congestion in one fishing area will be avoided,” Abalos said.

Abalos said he recommended this to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. after the DILG chief facilitated a dialogue with the LGUs as instructed by the President.

Fisherfolks in San Teodoro and Baco towns are proposed to do their fishing activities in the municipal waters of Paluan and Abra De Ilog in Occidental Mindoro, as well as in Tayabas Bay and Mindoro Strait.

In Calapan City, Naujan, and Pola fishing activities may be done in the municipal waters of Boac, Gasan in Marinduque, as well as in Tayabas Bay.

Pinamalayan, Gloria, and Bansud fisherfolk may fish in the municipal waters of Concepcion in Romblon and a portion of Mindoro Strait.

Meanwhile, those in Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, and Bulalacao are proposed to go fishing in Tablas Strait and the municipal waters of San Jose and Magsaysay in Occidental Mindoro.

“As soon as the fish samples are okay and there is no more contamination of olycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the affected areas of Oriental Mindoro, the fisherfolk can already do their fishing activities in their own territorial waters,” Abalos said.

The duration of the sharing of fishing grounds has yet to be determined, Abalos said.

Motor tanker Princess Empress was carrying around 900,000 liters of industrial fuel oil when it sank due to strong waves on February 28. All 20 people on board were rescued.

A total of 192,616 people or 40,733 families in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, and Western Visayas have been affected by the oil spill, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Thursday.

At least 211 people fell ill due to the oil spill.

State of calamity was declared in 15 cities and municipalities, according to the NDRRMC. —Joviland Rita/ VAL GMA Integrated News