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The official party line…

December 15, 2006

Guimaras now fast recovering, says Palace official

by T. Villavert
Phil. Information Agency

Iloilo City (15 December) – The island province of Guimaras is now fast recovering. This was declared by Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Rafael L. Coscolluela, December 14, following the announcements that more than P2 million was released by the international Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPC) as payments to some 200 persons affected by the MT Solar I oil spill. Coscolluela said that the IOPC made true their promise to release the checks before Christmas.

“This is the first batch of the claimants from the three oil spill-affected towns of Guimaras province,” he told the local media who made an ocular inspection in coordination with the Task Force Oil Spill in Guimaras, the other day.

It may be recalled that MT Solar I carrying tons of oil sank off Guimaras Strait in August 2006. Massive clean-up operations and several forms of assistance were extended both by the government, private, domestic and international institutions to mitigate the effects of the oil spill to human and marine life.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo visited the island province on several occasions and directed concerned agencies to seek all the necessary assistance, domestic or international and to extend the necessary relief and livelihood aid to the affected communities.

Coscolluela said that the first batch of the IOPC compensation claims recipients are from the two barangays – Chavez and Suclaran – of San Lorenzo town.

“In the next three days the IOPC will continue releasing the checks for claimants for the other barangays in San Lorenzo,” Coscolluela said. The Presidential Adviser said that the payments to the fishery claimants for the Municipality of San Lorenzo will be conducted during the following dates: December 14- Barangay M.Chavez and Barangay Suclaran; December 15- Barangay Igcawayan and Barangay San Enrique; December 16- Barangay Sebario; and December 17- Barangay Cabano.

He said that Joe Nichols of the IOPC will be staying over during the Christmas holidays to keep processing the claims. Persons who have been affected by the oil spill who were not able to file their claims have still time for filing their claims with the IOPC for up to three years.

(For a dose of reality, click here.)

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