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DSWD joins Oriental Mindoro town in lifting state of calamity caused by oil spill

Oriental Mindoro town lifting state of calamity caused by oil spill
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Diana Rose S. Cajipe joins on Monday (February 26) the ceremony that officially marks the lifting of the state of calamity in the Municipality of Pola in Oriental Mindoro.
Other officials who attended the ceremony were Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos Jr., Deputy Majority Leader Congressman Erwin Tulfo, Civil Defense Assistant Secretary Raffy Alejandro IV, Philippine Coastguard Commander Geronimo B. Tuvilla, and Department of Labor and Employment Regional Director Naomi Lyn C. Abellana.
The national government officials were joined by local executives led by Provincial Governor Humerlito "Bonz" Dolor, and Pola Municipal Mayor Jennifer M. Cruz. (Photos by DSWD MIMAROPA)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday (February 26) joined the local government unit (LGU) of Pola in Oriental Mindoro as LGU officials formally lifted the state of calamity following the massive oil spill caused by the sunken motor tanker Princess Empress last year.

In a message, DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Response Management Group Diana Rose S. Cajipe underscored the importance of the concerted efforts among various stakeholders in addressing the effects of the oil spill on the lives and livelihood of residents living along the coast.

“Ang DSWD ay kasama po ng inyong komunidad at lokal na pamahalaan upang malampasan ang hamon na ito. Ang ating national government, lokal na pamahalaan, mga kawani ng gobyerno, mga volunteer, at higit sa lahat, ang ating mga kababayan, ay nagkaisa para ayusin ang pinsalang idinulot ng oil spill,” Usec. Cajipe said as she delivered the message of DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian during the ceremony.

(The DSWD is one with your community and local government in overcoming this challenge. Our national government, local government, government employees, volunteers, and most importantly, our kababayans, have come together to address the damage caused by the oil spill.)

The DRMG Undersecretary added: “Ito ay hindi lang isang simpleng seremonya kundi simbolo ng ating lakas, pagkakaisa, at pag-asa”.

(This is not just a simple ceremony but a symbol of our strength, unity, and hope.)

Undersecretary Cajipe also emphasized that the DSWD, through its ‘Angels in Red Vests’, immediately responded to the needs of the affected communities, especially of the fisherfolk, through the provision of various interventions.

“Aming karangalan sa DSWD na ang bawat Angel in Red Vest ay makapaghatid ng tulong sa inyo kalakip ang extra care at extra love para sa apektadong pamilya,” Usec. Cajipe said.

(It is our honor at DSWD that each Angel in Red Vest can deliver assistance to you, accompanied by extra care and extra love for the affected family.)

According to the DSWD official, more than Php982.7 million worth of humanitarian aid was provided by the DSWD to over 42,500 families who were affected by the incident in the provinces of Oriental Mindoro, Batangas, Palawan, and Antique.

Aside from the series of distribution of family food packs (FFPs) to the affected families, the DSWD also extended cash aid through its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS), emergency cash transfer (ECT), and cash-for-work (CFW) programs.

“Sa pamamagitan ng cash-for-work, naging katuwang natin ang mga komunidad na gumawa ng paraan para sugpuin ang epekto ng oil spill habang sila ay nabibigyan ng temporary income,” Usec. Cajipe noted.

(Through cash-for-work, communities have become our partners in finding ways to mitigate the effects of the oil spill while providing them with temporary income.)

Usec. Cajipe reiterated the DSWD’s commitment to assist and support the affected population despite the lifting of the state of calamity in the municipality of Pola.

The state of calamity in Pola town was lifted a year after the MT Princess Empress sank near the coast of Naujan town on the morning of Feb. 28, 2023.

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