Spill victims get help from Pampanga, Caritas
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Philippines — The Pampanga provincial government has wrapped up its assistance in Pola town in Oriental Mindoro province on Saturday, helping at least 4,839 residents affected by the oil spill caused by tanker MT Princess Empress that sank off the province on Feb. 28.
A total of 1,390 fishermen and 3,449 families in 21 barangays each received 10 kilos of rice, 20 canned goods and water containers from the provincial government, said Angelina Blanco, provincial disaster risk reduction and management office head and special assistant to Gov. Dennis Pineda, in an interview on Saturday.
On top of the provincial government’s P2,000 cash aid to each of the displaced fishermen, the Pineda family also provided P3,000 each to them and P1,000 to the affected families for a total of P7.6 million, Blanco said.
MT Princess Empress sank off Naujan town while carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel. Large amounts of oil sludge found their way into the coastal waters and shores of Oriental Mindoro and have even reached as far as Caluya Islands in Antique, Taytay in Palawan and some parts of Batangas.
Earlier, Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Church, also pooled P4 million in donations for those affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.
“We are overwhelmed with gratitude for your generous donations towards our efforts to protect the Verde Island Passage (VIP) and its communities. Thanks to your incredible support, we have received a total of P4,000,000,” Caritas said in a post on its Facebook page on April 22.
Caritas Philippines is a member of “Protect Verde Island Passage,” a network of civil society and faith-based groups, youth, and community stakeholders, that aims to safeguard VIP, a body of water between Mindoro Island and Batangas that has been recognized as the “center of global shorefish biodiversity” due to the high densities of marine resources in the area.