Senator Win Gatchalian expressed alarm over possible fish shortage and livelihood loss for the residents of Oriental Mindoro, where fishing is a primary source of livelihood, amid the massive oil spill.
Locals fear more fishermen will bear the brunt as some 13 thousand fisherfolks and their families in Mindoro alone have already been affected. Fish production is expected to decline in the coming months as the oil spill has now reached Antique and Palawan and could possibly reach Romblon and Aklan, where the country’s premier tourist destination of Boracay is located, Gatchalian bewailed.
Several tourism activities in the whole Mimaropa region will likely be affected which can deprive stakeholders of their livelihood. The oil spill also threatens to damage different forms of wildlife, including mangroves and seaweeds.
“It would take us some time to recover from the horrendous impact of this incident, not only on the environment and the livelihood of our people including those in the tourism industry, and thus, we should extend whatever assistance we can give to help alleviate the plight of those affected by the oil spill,” Gatchalian pointed out.
Gatchalian is visiting the affected municipalities of Oriental Mindoro as he leads today’s relief operations in the province. He is joined by Valenzuela City Vice Mayor Lorie Natividad-Borja and representatives from Valenzuela’s local DSWD and they will donate sacks or rice worth five million pesos to the municipalities of Bansud, Bongabong, Bulalacao, Gloria, Naujan, Pinamalayan, Pola, Roxas, and Mansalay.
“Sa mga ganitong pagkakataon kailangan ng probinsya ng tulong natin. Pauna pa lamang ito sa mga tulong na ipapahatid natin sa mga apektadong residente na kadalasang bumabawi sa kita sa panahon ng summer kung saan dumarami ang mga turista,” said Gatchalian.
“Kailangang maging handa tayo sa lahat ng oras sa anumang pagkakataon. Sana natuto na tayo sa ganitong mga trahedya. Kailangang mayroon na tayong pangmalawakang contingency plan upang maiwasan na ang muling pagtagas at pagkalat ng langis sa ating mga karagatan na pumapatay sa ating kabuhayan,” he ended.