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Calamity funds released

September 8, 2006

• Bacolod City gives P200k to oil spill-stricken Guimaras

BACOLOD City – The city government extended P200,000 assistance to the oil spill-stricken Province of Guimaras.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia pledged financial assistance to Guimaras Gov. Rahman Nava during the recent League of Provinces of the Philippines Visayas Governors’ Special Meeting at the Governor’s Conference Hall of the Provincial Capitol Building here.

The said financial assistance will be taken from the calamity fund of Bacolod City intended for massive preventive measures in containing the spillage.

Leonardia also committed to send manpower to Guimaras should the need arises for the clean-up operation of the oil spill.

Nava said that although oil slicks neared Negros Occidental, only oil sheens were seen in the Negros waters.

Nava received a total of P6.5 million financial assistance from governors of Negros Occidental, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo and Capiz P200,000 each, P500,000 from the league of Visayas Governors, and P5 million from the governor of Cebu.

Meanwhile, the city government of Bacolod is consistently and closely working in preparation for the threat of the oil spill entering the coastal areas of Bacolod.

Task force Bantay Langis chaired by Mayor Leonardia has held series of meetings, conducted orientations and has enjoined the cooperation of all people concerned, especially those in the fourteen coastal barangays of Bacolod.

The task force has grouped volunteers and briefed them on safety measures and on how to use improvised materials in containing the spill should it reached the city’s shoreline with the help of the Philippine Coast Guard-Bacolod, the Amity Fire Brigade and Members of the Greenpeace defenders.

In Iloilo, Gov. Niel D. Tupas, Sr. recently gave financial assistance amounting to P100,000 each to mayors of 19 coastal municipalities in the province.

This amount will be utilized in setting up oil spill booms, as a preliminary measure before the oil slick coming from Guimaras Strait spread further in other coastal towns of Iloilo.

Based on recent report from the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), five coastal towns were declared under the state of calamity – Ajuy with 15 coastal barangays affected; Concepcion, 11 barangays; Barotac Viejo, 4 barangays; Banate, 8 barangays; and Oton, 4 barangays.

The oil sludge has damaged the mangrove areas in the said municipalities, affecting the livelihood of the fishermen.

Areas declared under imminent threat were Dumangas and Zarraga while the municipalities of Leganes, Batad, Barotac Nuevo and Miagao were also identified as oil slick threatened areas.

The other coastal areas are Banate, Anilao, Estancia, Tigbauan, Guimbal, Balasan, Carles and San Dionisio.

The assistance, which totaled to P1.9 million, is part of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s P5-million aid for Iloilo Province as one of the areas stricken by oil spill. The remaining amount, Tupas said, will be used during emergency cases.

Last week, the governor also received a cash donation amounting to P200,000 from Metrobank director George Ty, and whose family owns majority control of thev bank, intended for those affected by oil spill.

(From Panay News, Sept. 8, 2006.)

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