DILG names alternative fishing sites for oil spill-hit Oriental Mindoro fisherfolk
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Thursday that it has identified alternative fishing grounds for fisherfolk affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.
The DILG said it would share the data with the local government units as it has already coordinated with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to issue a corresponding memorandum circular.
“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,” DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr said in a statement.
For affected fisherfolk from San Teodoro and Baco towns in Oriental Mindoro, an alternative fishing ground will be the municipal waters of Paluan, Abra De Ilog, Tayabas Bay, and Mindoro Strait, according to Abalos.
For affected fisherfolk from Calapan City, Naujan, and Pola towns, the municipal waters of Boac, Gasan in Marinduque, and Tayabas Bay could be alternate fishing locations.
He also said that Pinamalayan, Gloria, and Bansud fisherfolk could resume their fishing activities in the municipal waters of Concepcion in Romblon and portions of Mindoro Strait; while Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, and Bulalacao fisherfolk could again fish 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 Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the affected areas of Oriental Mindoro, the fisherfolk can already do their fishing activities in their territorial waters,” Abalos pointed out.
The DILG chief further disclosed that they would review the existing management policies in different municipal waters. He likewise urged the Department of Labor and Employment to expand the coverage of its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD program in Oriental Mindoro.
Abalos then pressed local government executives in affected oil spill-affected areas “to include oil spill and other similar incidents in their contingency plans.”
Last April 15, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. instructed the DILG to coordinate with local government officials and identify alternative fishing sites where fisherfolk may continue their primary source of livelihood.