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‘Project Sunrise’ collects P26M

October 18, 2006

• Province mulls area-based labor

By DAVID ISRAEL SINAY
Panay News, Oct. 18, 2006

GUIMARAS – The provincial government plans socio-economic interventions on the oil spill-affected communities to help residents displaced of their livelihood – which is mainly fishing – using grants and financial assistance from its “Project Sunrise.”

“Project Sunrise” was introduced by the provincial government to accommodate grants and financial assistance.

Gov. JC Rahman Nava disclosed that an area-based livelihood program is being readied by the provincial government.

“We are only waiting for the national government and agencies concerned to declare the affected shores safe and clean for the residents to return to their homes,” Nava told Panay News.

Nava said that after the affected coasts will be declared clean and safe, “we will immediately initiate area-based alternative livelihood to the displaced residents.”

Until now, Nava stressed, not a single record or detail was received by his office about the levels of the hydrogen sulfide in the air, and the shorelines.

The governor intends to initiate the program next month – November – “when the clean up operations is already done in restoring back the affected areas and until things stabilize.”

“This will be used as an augmentation (capital) to the rehabilitation plans of the national government. Funds from the national government (for the immediate rehabilitation of the province) may come in late,” Nava clarified.

As of October 10, 2006, Task Force Sunrise’s Trust Fund amounted to P26,846,121.27, as certified by Guimaras Provincial Treasurer Carmen Manzan, through their web site http://project sunrise.org.

The Province of Iloilo gave P200,000; Emily Lopez, P20,050; Robert Wilson, P5,000; Provincial Administrators League of the Philippines, P12,000; Provincial Government of Cebu, P5 million; Malacañang, P20 million; Banko Buena Inc., P5,000; Bagacay Elementary School, P2,039.75; Province of Aklan, P200,000; Roxas City, P200,000; League of Cities of the Philippines, P50,000; and Province of Capiz, P200,000.

Also, Ramon Villavicencio, P1,000; Credit Advice, P1,000; Province of Nueva Ecija, P100,000; Province of Batanes, P50,000; Bacolod City, P200,000; St. Pauls-Iloilo Medical Staff, P17,500; Province of Negros, P200,000; LGU, NGAs Personnel Association, P44,053.40; and Northern Negros State College of Science and Technology, P8,600.

The Philippine Association of Water District Inc. donated P30,000; Province of Cavite, P100,000; Negros Bikes, P85,000; Guimaras Families Association of Guam, P100,300; and Mr. and Mrs. Richard Hamilton, P14,578.12.

Nava said there were already livelihood programs introduced in some areas — like salabat (ginger tea)-making.

“It is in partnership with the provincial government (under the provincial technical education program) and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA),” he said.

He revealed that majority of his constituents rely on fishing, as their source of income, and the sinking of M/T Solar 1 has ravaged the livelihood and other forms of sustenance of the residents at shore.

For more than two months now, Guimaras still awaits confirmation from agencies concerned to declare the areas affected clean and safe from the effects of Petron Corp.’s bunker fuel oil wreaking havoc to the marine ecosystem and livelihood of the people.

M/T Solar 1 was chartered by Petron Corp. to carry 2.19 liters of its bunker fuel from Bataan to be transported to Mindanao when it sank off the Guimaras Strait on August 11, 2006.

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