Photo from PCO

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. visited Oriental Mindoro, Saturday, where he led the joint efforts of government agencies to bring back normalcy to the communities severely affected by the oil spill.

Together with some officials from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the local government of Oriental Mindoro, the president conducted an aerial inspection on April 15 to assess the extent of the oil spill’s impact on the coastal areas of the province.

Later that day, Marcos met with some key government officials in the town of Pola  to strategize on the best course of action for the cleanup operations and on the ongoing relief efforts.

He also led the distribution of 140,728 food packs to affected families from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), turned over 17 fishing boats with engines, P335,739 worth of post-harvest technology package for fish-smoking livelihood of the Maasin Marine Protected Area Association in Bulalacao, a unit of 65 HP tractor with implements to the Maralitang Magsasaka ng Mindoro in Bansud, three units of pump and engine to Maralitang Magsasaka ng Mindoro and Mahabang Parang Farmers Association in Naujan, and six water pumps for the municipalities of Pola, Naujan, and Pinamalayan.

Aside from machinery, agricultural inputs were also distributed, including 2.5 kg. of assorted vegetable seeds, 10 bags of black rice, two bags of brown rice, 300 bags of certified palay seeds, and 300 corn seeds to the local government of Pola under the Department of Agriculture’s  (DA) Survival and Recovery Assistance Program.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) facilitated livelihood assistance to residents. 

In his speech, the president commended the efforts of the different government agencies for their collaborative work and prompt response to the oil spill. 

“Kami’y nandito para inspeksyunin ang tuloy-tuloy na aming ginagawa para pagandahin ulit ang laot para makapangisda ulit ang tiga-Pola, ang tiga-karatig na bayan. Tayo naman ay makakita ng mga pagbabago, hindi lamang para doon sa oil spill. Maganda naman po ang naging resulta so far, dahil lahat po ng ahensya ng gobyerno mula noong tumama ‘yung oil spill, mula noong lumubog ‘yung barko, ay lahat na naka-alert na lahat,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of continuing the rehabilitation efforts and addressing the needs of the affected communities.

“Kailangan may hanapbuhay ang tao. Kaya’t nagpaplano kami, ‘yung mga livelihood na pwedeng dalhin at pwedeng buhayin. Pero ang sabi ko nga sa kanila, ang livelihood program ay huwag para lang sa oil spill. Kahit na mawala na ‘yung oil spill, sana patuloy naman ‘yung livelihood program para ang mga residente ay mayroon namang option, mayroon namang pagkakataon na makasubok naman ng ibang hanapbuhay para makadagdag sa kinikita,” he stressed.