Government pours aid to Oriental Mindoro oil spill victims


Around 20,000 people in areas affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro will receive P110 million worth of government aid, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Calapan City will receive the bulk or P19,840,932 of the funds, which will be used to provide emergency employment and livelihood assistance to oil spill victims.

The other areas, which will benefit from the program include Pola (P5,065,875); Naujan (P9,143,103); Mansalay (P11,051,103); Pinamalayan (P17,886,147); Bansud (P7,787,673); Bulalacao (P13,355,514); Gloria (P8,207,055); Bongabong (P7,782,042); Roxas (P7,748,256); and San Teodoro (P344,835).

DOLE signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Department of Tourism (DOT), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM) to implement the initiative.

Under the MOA, DOLE will provide emergency employment to the affected workers through its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program as well as livelihood aid.

DOT will hold training programs for qualified beneficiaries on kulinarya/food tourism; farm tourism; tourism micro retail; and health and wellness tourism, among others.

Tesda will provide National Certificate (NC) II skills training in construction; agriculture; tourism; automotive; and other relevant sectors, as well as livelihood training programs through its training centers and registered mobile programs. It also designed short-term programs on critical competencies for each of the identified NC II courses.

For its part, PGOM will act as the coordinator in charge of ensuring the systematic coverage of affected workers and smooth project implementation, as well as monitoring the integration of trained beneficiaries to establish their self-reliance.

According to DOLE’s regional office in Mimaropa, they will provide salaries to the beneficiaries, who will be covered by TUPAD.

They will also provide livelihood assistance for the beneficiaries, who will complete their training from DOT or Tesda.

Last month, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported a total of 193,436 individuals nationwide were affected by the oil spill caused by the sinking of motor tanker MT Princess Empress, when it sank off Oriental Mindoro last March.

The ship carried 800,000 liters of industrial fuel when it sank.