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Those impacted by the oil leak will receive cash in exchange for working

Rex Gatchalian, secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), stated on Tuesday that the department is prepared to offer cash-for-work assistance to residents impacted by the oil spill that the MT Princess Empress, which sank on February 28, caused in the waters off Naujan town in Oriental Mindoro province.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the head of the interagency entrusted with dealing with the oil spill from the tanker filled with 800,000 liters of industrial oil, and the local government units (LGUs) would be consulted before the DSWD implemented the program.

In a media interview, Gatchalian stated that the towns of Bansud, Bongabong, Bulalacao, Gloria, Naujan, Pinamalayan, Pola, and Roxas in Oriental Mindoro; Caluya in Antique; and Agutaya in Palawan will receive temporary means of subsistence.

In addition to Oriental Mindoro, Gatchalian claimed that he had heard rumors that the oil spill has now reached the provinces of Antique and Palawan and that the locals there will require assistance from the government.

Thus, he stated, “We are currently working hard to ensure that the citizens of these two places (Antique and Palawan) have something to eat, whether it be food packs or emergency financial transfers.

In addition to the cash-for-work initiative, Gatchalian also intends to roll out the Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) program for the impacted residents.

We had an agreement with the DENR, the local government, and the provincial government, and by the orders of our President, we need to ensure that our locals, the affected fisherfolk, will be a part of the solution, said Gatchalian.

To date, the DSWD has given impacted communities in Oriental Mindoro and Antique food assistance totaling more than PHP3.1 million.

The DSWD will continue to collaborate with various authorities and communities to guarantee that the needs of the inhabitants affected by the oil spill will be appropriately met.

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