MANILA — The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday identified some alternative areas that Oriental Mindoro fisherfolk affected by the MT Princess Empress oil spill can fish in.
Affected fisherfolk from San Teodoro and Baco towns may fish in the waters of Paluan and Abra De Ilog in Occidental Mindoro, the DILG said in a statement. Tayabas Bay and Mindoro Strait were also proposed as alternative fishing areas for the said towns.
Fisherfolk from Calapan City, Naujan, and Pola may do their fishing activities in the municipal waters of Boac, Gasan in Marinduque, as well as Tayabas Bay.
Those from Pinamalayan, Gloria, and Bansud, on the other hand, may fish at the waters of Concepcion town in Romblon and a portion of the Mindoro Strait.
Meanwhile, fisherfolk from Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, and Bulalacao may go fishing in Tablas Strait and the municipal waters of San Jose and Magsaysay in Occidental Mindoro.
DILG also said it was expected to release a joint memorandum with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on the matter.
“The DILG and BFAR will adopt a cluster approach to ensure that all affected fisherfolk will have a place to go and congestion in one fishing area will be avoided,” Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said.
But Abalos said the duration of the fishing ground-sharing was still uncertain.
“As soon as the fish samples are okay and there is no more contamination of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the affected areas of Oriental Mindoro, the fisherfolks can already do their fishing activities in their own territorial waters,” he said.
DILG said Abalos had recommended the idea of fishing area sharing to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. after facilitating a dialogue with local government of the areas hit by the oil spill.
Damage caused by the Mindoro oil spill has reached P3.88 billion, with the number of affected families rising to around 40,000, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) earlier said.
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