On Earth Day, fisherfolk clean traces of oil along coast of Oriental Mindoro

April 24, 2023

Communities in oil-spill affected communities in the town of Pola in Oriental Mindoro province conducted a clean-up drive on April 22, Earth Day, as they called on the government to address “ecological disasters.”

Pola has been “ground zero” of the oil spill from the MT Princess Empress, which was carrying 900,000 liters of industrial oil when it capsized off the coast of Naujan town in February.

“We ask the government to move quickly and move correctly on this matter, or more communities and families will be affected,” said Father Edwin Gariguez, Social Action Center director of the Diocese of Calapan.

“We do not need Earth Day to raise awareness on the gravity of environmental degradation in the country,” said the priest.

“We just have to go to Pola and the other coastal communities affected by this spill,” he added.

Fisherfolks from oil spill affected communities who gathered in Pola decried what they described as “the burden that fisherfolks and affected communities have to bear” because of the disaster.

Earlier, a coalition of scientists and environmental groups reported “widespread economic impacts” and “lack of sufficient and sustained help” for communities across Mindoro Oriental following the recent oil spill.

“On top of environmental issues, residents are having to deal with little to no income these past few weeks, causing trickle-down effects on their health and education,” said Jordan Fronda, research coordinator of the Center for Environmental Concerns.

A report done by the group documented that over 90 percent of individuals in several affected communities “do not earn enough to meet their family’s needs” following the oil spill.

While most residents have received aid over the past few weeks, nearly 100 percent of respondents also reported that the aid they received was “insufficient.”

According to the group, residents even reported that the impacts of the oil spill and fishing ban “were worse than COVID” as the oil spill prevented them from getting food to eat.

Related Articles

Will climate become an ‘election issue’ in 2025?

Will climate become an ‘election issue’ in 2025?

Will 2025 finally be the year? The climate crisis has never been more relevant, from the halls of Congress to daily living. The impacts of extreme heat are increasingly being felt at the household level, from the suspension of classes to concerns about the supply of...

The biggest killers of Filipinos: Fossil fuels and vehicles

The biggest killers of Filipinos: Fossil fuels and vehicles

The reliance of the world economy on the burning of fossil fuels, oil, and gas continues to drive up global temperatures. The sweltering heat of the past three months is just a small indication of what it will be like in the years to come. Every year is hotter than...

Synodality and its Silences 

Synodality and its Silences 

Why the deafening silence? How can we not listen? Why are we not protesting? Who is accountable and how can we make them accountable? What do we need to do?

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This