Oriental Mindoro

DSWD unveils cash-for-work program for Oriental Mindoro oil spill cleaners

Lorenz Pasion

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DSWD unveils cash-for-work program for Oriental Mindoro oil spill cleaners

CLEANUP. Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor and DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian conduct an ocular inspection along the shores of Barangay Zone 2, Pola, Oriental Mindoro, following a massive oil spill from a tanker off the coast of Naujan, on March 4, 2023.

Arjay Cleofe/PonD News Asia

Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian says the cash-for-work program aims to provide temporary income for fisherfolk affected by the temporary suspension of fishing activities

MANILA, Philippines – Volunteers helping in the cleanup of the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro will soon be paid for their work under a cash-for-work program, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rex Gatchalian said on Saturday, March 4. 

DSWD unveils cash-for-work program for Oriental Mindoro oil spill cleaners

In an interview with Rappler, Gatchalian said one member of each household in the affected areas would be trained by the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) to be part of the cleanup effort under the program.

“The locals will be trained by DENR as early as Wednesday (March 8), wherein they will be part of the cleanup effort,” Gatchalian told Rappler. (LIVE UPDATES: Authorities race to contain Oriental Mindoro oil spill)

The social welfare secretary said participants would be paid minimum wage in the program aimed at fisherfolk who are not yet allowed to fish in waters affected by the oil spill.

Gatchalian said the program aims to mobilize local communities to participate in oil spill cleanup and provide temporary livelihood for fisherfolk affected by the temporary suspension of fishing activities in the area. (FAST FACTS: Oil spill cleanups)

Gatchalian said he admired the individual cleanup efforts done by the locals, which he observed during his visit to Oriental Mindoro. He said this was the inspiration for the program.

OCULAR. Oriental Mindoro Governor Bonz Dolor and DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian conduct an ocular inspection along the shores of Barangay Zone 2, Pola, Oriental Mindoro, following a massive oil spill from a tanker off the coast of Naujan on March 4, 2023. Photo by Arjay Cleofe/PonD News Asia
LOCAL EFFORTS. Residents of Barangay Zone 2, Pola, Oriental Mindoro, connect long bamboo poles and attach coconut palm leaves, which would be used as floaters to block the oil spill from a sunken tanker off the coast of Naujan from reaching the shores, on March 4. 2023. Photo by Arjay Cleofe/PonD News Asia

However, the social welfare secretary reminded the locals that no matter how good the locals’ intentions are, they should wait for the formal mobilization of their respective local government units. 

Gusto namin na safe and secure kayo. Hindi ‘yung susugod kayo doon na wala kayong protective gear, kasi bibigyan kayo ng protective gear (We want you to be safe and secure. We won’t allow you to rush there without protective gear because you will be provided with protective gear),” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian told Rappler that senior citizens and people with weak respiratory systems are not eligible to join the cash-for-work program. – Rappler.com

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Lorenz Pasion

Lorenz Pasion is a researcher at Rappler and a member of its fact-check team that debunks false claims that spread on social media.