By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
ILOILO CITY, Philippines — A nationwide alliance of fisherfolk organizations has urged around 133,000 oil spill compensation claimants, whose claims were rejected by a London-based insurance organization, to file claims against the giant oil firm Petron Corp.
The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya, National Movement of Fishers in the Philippines) said the oil spill victims seeking compensation for damages had no recourse left but to seek payments from Petron after the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF) rejected their claims.
“The failure of IOPCF to deliver justice and just compensation packages to victims of last year’s environmental catastrophe is one of the biggest injustices ever done to human kind. But this is not the end of the road for all Guimaras oil spill victims. We encourage them to file compensation claims at Petron’s national office in Manila…,” said Pamalakaya national chairman Fernando Hicap said in a statement.
The IOPCF, an inter-governmental organization that provides compensation to oil spill victims, said in a Sept. 24 report that it rejected the claims of 125,480 residents in Guimaras and 7,416 in Iloilo.
It said the claims were rejected because the claim forms were incomplete and a significant number were from people under the age of 18. The IOPCF also said it was improbable the oil spill affected 80 percent of the island’s population of around 154,000.
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