Oriental Mindoro town hit by oil spill runs out of calamity funds
MANILA, Philippines — Pola, one of the towns hit by a major oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, has run out of calamity funds and now has to rely on quick response funds (QRF), Mayor Jennifer Cruz said on Monday.
The QRFs are built-in budgetary allocations used to assist disaster-struck areas, according to the Department of Budget and Management.
“Our calamity funds are gone. What we are spending is the QRF we have every quarter, of which we have P200,000. So that is for our recovery program. We are there to recover our coastline because we need to move on,” Cruz said in Filipino during the government’s weekly “Laging Handa” televised public briefing.
“The giving of aid was cut ever since the provincial government declared that you can fish again.. The aid given to our fisherfolk was stopped. All the fisherfolk got was the 15-day cash-for-work program. So that is what we are trying to look for a way to provide a proper livelihood,” Cruz said when asked about DSWD aid.
She added that her town was also waiting for livelihood programs from the Department of Agriculture.
Cruz said, however, that the situation was improving slowly, with fisherfolk being able to get fish again.
Pola was one of the Oriental Mindoro towns affected by a major oil spill back in February, which wreaked havoc on the environment. It has cost the government nearly P1 billion in damage.