MANILA — The Department of Tourism said on Tuesday frontline tourism workers in areas hit by the Mindoro oil spill would undergo skills training to prepare them for alternate sources of livelihood.
Based on DOT data, at least 63 tourism sites and 1,000 tourism workers were affected by the oil spill. Thousands of fishermen were also ordered to stay ashore as authorities cleaned up spillage from the sunken tanker Princess Empress.
“At this point, it’s really about ensuring that our tourism frontline workers na kung mawalan man sila ng work for a few days or weeks because of the oil spill, that we are able to provide them with alternative sources of livelihood and that is why we will be providing trainings to them, not just specifically focused on their present work but to alternative types of work,” Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco told TeleRadyo in an interview.
Skills training will be conducted by the DOT's regional offices, she said.
Frasco said DOT headquarters in Mimaropa and Western Visayas were consolidating the names of affected tourism workers for endorsement to the labor department's emergency employment program.
DOT said its Office of Industry and Manpower Development (OIMD) would conduct a learning needs assessment to develop a training module on oil spill to equip stakeholders in case a similar incident happens in the future.
The Princess Empress was carrying 800,000 liters of industrial fuel oil when it sank on February 28 off Mindoro, known for its rich marine life.
Diesel fuel and thick oil from the vessel have contaminated the waters and beaches of Oriental Mindoro province and other islands.
Thousands of hectares of coral reefs, mangroves and seaweed could be affected, officials have said.
Tens of thousands of people have been affected by the spill, with scores falling ill.
— With a report from Agence France-Presse