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22 Guimaras resort operators first to get compensation claims

November 27, 2006

By Maricar M. Calubiran
The News Today, Nov. 27, 2006

THE International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF) has already paid the 22 resort operators in the island province of Guimaras of their compensation claims resulting from the Solar 1 oil spill incident. The fishermen from the town of San Lorenzo comes next after they also agreed with the compensation package.

IOPCF Deputy Director/Technical Advisor Joe Nichols said out of the 34 claimants for the tourism sector in the province, 22 tourist operators have already agreed to settle their claims on the basis of IOPCF’s compensation offers and The Shipowners’ Protection Limited, the shipowners’ insurer.

Nichols, however did not say how much the IOPCF has paid the 22 resort operators but the claimants were happy and contented with the compensation offered to them. The payment was made Saturday in the province of Guimaras.

Apart from the resort operators, the fishermen from the town of San Lorenzo are next to receive the compensation claims after they also agreed with the compensation package. The compensation package designed for the fishermen range from P6,000 to P30,000. The compensation claims is good for 12 weeks or three months.

Nichols, in an e-mail said “prospects of being able to make substantial payments before Christmas are now looking good.” The payment for the fishermen will be made in form of a check through the Land Bank of the Philippines.

As a matter of IOPCF policy, only the qualified claimant can get the check from the bank and no other parties are authorized to transact or receive the check in behalf of the claimant. This would cut down any dubious claims from any individual or group.

The IOPCF is also expected to come up with a deal with the fishermen from the towns of Sibunag and Jordan on Monday. A total of 13,000 claimants have filed their claims before the IOPCF. Of the 13,000 claimants, 3,700 are identified as fisher folk from the towns of Sibunag, San Lorenzo and Jordan.

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