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Delay seen in fishers’ oil spill compensation

December 18, 2006

By Maricar M. Calubiran
The News Today, Dec. 18, 2006

FISHERFOLK from the town of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras affected by the oil spill may meet some delay in receiving their compensation claims from the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF).

An IOPCF official said the municipal officials failed to turn over the rectified copies of their compensation claim forms to the organization.

IOPCF Claims Manager Capt. Patrick Joseph said they have not received the rectified copies of the oil spill claim forms in Nueva Valencia as well as the forms showing the claimants approved the payment offered by their organization. These forms are used by the IOPCF as basis for the issuance of checks to the claimants. The organization wants to make sure that the names written on the checks are correct.

Joseph was reacting to the the clamor of oil spill victims in Nueva Valencia for a faster release of their checks after they found out that the IOPCF has started releasing the compensation of fisherfolk in the municipality of San Lorenzo. The IOPCF has allocated some P22 million for the oil spill victims in San Lorenzo.

There are 1,339 legitimate oil spill compensation claimants in San Lorenzo. The check were released beginning last Thursday and distributed at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol. The IOPCF team wanted to finish releasing all oil checks before yearend.

Joseph said they have done their part as far as the processing and releasing of claims. The team has reminded the municipal government of Nueva Valencia to submit the corrected copies of their residents’ claim forms.

Joseph did not specifically name the official they are dealing with in Nueva Valencia. However, it was learned that the claims of the oil spill victims in Nueva Valencia are being handled by Mayor Diosadado Gonzaga and Guimaras Gov. JC Rahman Nava.

Joseph said he has no idea what caused the delay of the submission of these claim forms to the IOPCF. “Politics” has nothing to do with the releasing of the claims of fisherfolks from San Lorenzo, he said.

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