Legarda bats for sustainable livelihood for oil spill-affected communities

April 17, 2023

Over a month after the oil spill incident hit the various provinces in MIMAROPA and Western Visayas (Region VI), Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda underscored the need for long-term livelihood programs and capacity-building for oil spill-affected communities.

The four-term senator stressed that her goal is not just to give temporary assistance but to initiate long-term programs, such as mangrove rehabilitation and livelihood opportunities for microenterprises, especially for the fisherfolks affected by the oil spill.

Legarda affirmed that funding should not be an issue, as there are more than 20 billion pesos in the NDRRM fund under the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Law of 2010.

Each local government unit has the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management (LDRRM) fund, while other government agencies have the Quick Response Fund (QRF).

“Rather than funding, the focus should be on technological know-how and capacity building of the Coast Guard and other agencies within the NDRRM that are vital in addressing oil spill disasters. Even local governments near coastal areas must have easy access,” she emphasized.

On another note, Legarda urged shipping lines to observe responsible vessel management practices such as not overloading vessels and regularly checking their machines and engines to prevent comparable adversities.

Since the news about the oil spill broke out, Legarda immediately coordinated with the concerned agencies regarding updates on the situations in the areas affected, including her home province of Antique, in partnership with Antique Representative AA Legarda.

In collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Legarda’s office went to Pola, Oriental Mindoro, to distribute monetary aid and food packs under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program.

“I am and will always be committed to protecting our environment and the well-being of our kababayans. Long-term programs and capacity building initiatives are vital steps in ensuring that our country is prepared to handle future oil spill disasters,” Legarda stated as she also called for a collaborative effort from all stakeholders, particularly the government, in resolving the recent ecological disaster and prevent similar catastrophes from happening in the future. (end)