DSWD eyes ₱127-M oil subsidy for Mindoro fisherfolk

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) eyes providing ₱127 million worth of fuel subsidies to the oil spill-affected fisherfolk in Oriental Mindoro.

"We're also in the plan of providing ₱127 million oil subsidy for the motorized and non-motorized bangka owners," DSWD Assistant Secretary Marlon Alagao said in a press briefing on Thursday.

The DSWD also said it has allocated ₱697 million worth of subsidies for the affected population of Region 4-A, Region 4-B, and Region 6.

"Still there is ongoing cash-for-work, food and non-food items deliveries to Mimaropa, and emergency cash transfers. All of which are depending on the advice of the local government units," Alagao said.

READ: Gov't urged to provide subsidy to fisherfolk affected by oil spill

Last April 10, environmental groups said the one-time aid given to affected fisherfolk in Oriental Mindoro remained "insufficient."

A survey conducted by Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment from April 1 to 3 showed that respondents from the municipalities of Calapan and Pola said the "ayuda" given them was not enough.

READ: Groups: Residents say socio-economic impact of Mindoro oil spill worse than COVID

As of March 26, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center said the oil slick has affected a total of 172,928 residents, the majority of whom are from Mimaropa.

The oil spill originated from the tanker MT Princess Empress that sank in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on Feb. 28.

To date, a fishing ban only remains in three out of 14 municipalities in the province. These are Pola, Pinamalayan, and Naujan.