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P28.6M released to oil spill victims

December 25, 2006

By Maricar M. Calubiran
The News Today,
Dec. 22. 2006

THE International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF) has already released P28.6 million out of the total estimated P106,400,000 compensation for the oil spill victims of the island-province of Guimaras. There are already 1,974 fisherfolk who received compensation.

IOPCF Deputy Director/Technical Advisor Joe Nichols said the Fund has already released P21.5 million for 1,338 fisherfolk in San Lorenzo. The Fund has likewise released P7.1 million to 591 oil spill victims in the town of Jordan.

The oil spill compensation was released to the legitimate claimants in checks from the Land Bank of the Philippines. No cash was released to protect the recipients as well as the members of the Fund who are currently in the city. The releasing of checks was held at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol and not at the Guimaras Provincial Capitol.

As of Thursday, the Fund began releasing oil spill compensation for the fisherfolk in the town of Sibunag. No immediate data was available on how many had already received their checks as the process is still on going. There are 1,553 claimants in Sibunag and some P19 million is intended for the oil spill victims. The Fund hopes to finish the releasing of checks for Sibunag next week.

Meanwhile, oil spill victims in Nueva Valencia will have to wait until next year for the release of their compensation. This developed after the local government of Nueva Valencia finally submitted the rectified copies of the compensation forms to the Fund.

Nichols said they again have to go over the forms before the checks are finally issued. There are 5,228 claimants in Nueva Valencia. Some P58 million is being prepared for the oil spill victims. The town of Nueva Valencia was the hardest town hit by the oil spill after MT Solar 1 sank.

The releasing of the checks for Nueva Valencia victims was delayed after the local officials failed to immediately submit the rectified copies of the compensation application forms. The rectified forms and the recipients confirmation on the Fund’s compensation offer are used as basis for the issuance of the checks.

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