MANILA (UPDATED, CORRECTED) — The fishing sector loses nearly P19 million daily as the massive oil spill in Oriental Mindoro drags on, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
According to BFAR chief information officer Nazario Briguera, the oil spill has displaced some 26,382 fishermen.
"Based on our estimate, the average income loss per day for 1 municipal fisherfolk is about P714," he told ANC's "Rundown."
"If we're going to compute that, we're losing about P19 million per day for all those affected municipalities, including those in Caluya, Antique."
In 22 fishing days for example, the sector will lose around P400 million due to the oil spill, Briguera added.
"Lalong umuusad ang mga araw at linggo na hindi nakakapangisda, so nakakalungkot talaga na ganito kalaki ang nawawala sa ating mga mangingisda pagdating sa kanilang kabuhayan," he said.
However, the agency asserted that a fishing ban was necessary after oil were found in fish and water samples from places affected by the spill.
"Right now, we stand by our recommendation that the local government units should continue imposing fishing ban to really have an assurance about the public safety," Briguera said.
Earlier this week, BFAR identified alternative fishing sites for fisherfolk affected by the 6-week oil spill.
For municipal boats, locals can fish in Paluan, Abra de Ilog, San Jose and Magsaysay in Occidental Mindoro and in Marinduque.
Meanwhile, the Mindoro Strait, Cuyo Pass in Palawan, Tablas Strait in Romblon and Tayabas Bay in Quezon province could be alternative fishing grounds for commercial vessels.
Briguera stressed there should be coordination with the respective local government units to allow fisherfolk from other municipalities to operate.