Local folks claim: Hunger looms over Guimaras

October 18, 2006

The Philippine Star 10/18/2006

RESIDENTS of Guimaras affected by the oil spill claimed the other day that hunger now looms over the province, specifically the more than 6,156 families who depend on the sea for their livelihood.

During the celebration of the World Food Day, the FoodFirst Information and Action Network-Philippines (FIAN-Philippines) and its partner-organization Victims of Oil Spill in Guimaras (VOSG) pressed the government, Petron Corp., and Sunshine Maritime Development Corp. (SMDC) to immediately put in place alternative livelihood projects and go beyond relief operations.

“At present, most efforts are geared towards environmental concerns. While FIAN-Philippines sees its importance, our mandate calls for us to raise the issue of the growing hunger in the island and the need for Petron, the tanker’s owner and the national government to put in place alternative livelihood projects and provide food assistance to the people,” FIAN-Philippines said in a statement.

The organization claimed that only four food relief mission have been made since Aug. 11 — one by the provincial government, another by a television network, the third by a former Guimaras governor, and the last by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

“The government relief is very much media-oriented,” FIAN-Philippines said. “As the media focus leaves Guimaras, so as the attention of the government.”— Katherine Adraneda


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