By VG Cabuag
Sept. 14, 2007
AFTER paying Petron Corp. for the money it spent cleaning up the oil spill near Guimaras Island last year, the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF) rejected claims for the Philippine government’s “cash-for-work” program. The same fund also asked the Coast Guard to explain why its claim is bigger than that of the petroleum company.
In a report, the fund said that although some of its delegates praised the efforts of the regional Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the said cash-for-work program, the cost was not admissible for reimbursement since the measure was not related to the clean-up operation of the oil spill nor for preventive measures for future oil spill.
The regional DSWD asked to be reimbursed by P2 million, which it said was spent on 1,000 families over a period of five to seven days last year. Its program centered on improvements on roads and drainage, food production and community cleaning.
The cash-for-work program was the original idea of Petron, 45 percent of which is owned by the government, which it implemented immediately after the oil spill to give the affected residents some income instead of handing them dole-outs as a result of the incident.
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