Creating a task group in Mindoro town to look into oil spill crimes
One of the towns that were severely affected by the oil spill disaster in this province has organized a task force to seek legal action against the owners of the sunken vessel, stressing that the incident has devastated the livelihood of fishers and resort owners as well as the marine resources.
The Task Force Pola’s mayor, Jennifer Cruz, stated that they are committed to finding individuals accountable for the maritime calamity.
MT When Princess Empress sank on February 28 while traveling from Bataan to Iloilo province, her engine overheated, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). Princess Empress was carrying 800,000 gallons of industrial fuel oil at the time.
The oil spill has so far affected Antique province in the Visayas, but Pola town has been the hardest hit.
The Task Force Pola was established, according to a report from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), so that the municipality could “pursue appropriate legal actions against the owner, operator, or insurer of the unfortunate vessel in proper courts or administrative agencies for the damages incurred by the municipality from the oil spill incident.”
Cruz and a representative from each of the relevant agencies had previously met with the PCG.
According to the PCG’s report to the provincial disaster risk reduction management office, employees from the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) are now performing an assessment and fuel fingerprinting in the impacted villages.
Cruz asked for help from the Philippine National Police, the PCG, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Health, and other agencies in conducting evaluations and gathering data regarding the impacts of the oil spill.
The province’s tourism industry is not immune to the negative impacts of the cargo ship’s oil disaster, either.
The provincial tourism officer, Don Stepherson Calda, revealed in a report that several would-be tourists have changed their travel plans at what is often the busiest time of year for travelers.
The research also said that 15 Community-Based Sustainable Tourism Organizations (CBSTOs) with 750 members are impacted. They can be found in the communities of Bulalacao, Gloria, Roxas, Mansalay, and Pinamalayan.
According to Calda, 327 employees across 51 tourism businesses and 61 tourism sites are also impacted.
He further claimed that 28 marine protected areas (MPAs) in Naujan, Pola, Pinamalayan, Gloria, Bansud, Bongabong, Mansalay, and Bulalacao—all of which are popular tourist destinations—are affected.
The provincial tourism agency proposed that participants in the coastline cleanup, where the Department of Labor and Employment will operate its paid-for-work program, receive financial and livelihood help.
Calda announced that in addition to their ongoing efforts to develop the province’s tourism business, they will begin offering training for alternative sources of income.
“Our attention is on tourism-related activities in unaffected areas. For those who are impacted, we also offer training interventions for land-based tourism “On Friday, Calda spoke with the Philippine News Agency.
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