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P20-B rehab fund for Guimaras sought

November 4, 2007

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Visayas Bureau
Inquirer, 11/04/2007

ILOILO CITY, Philippines—A militant national fisherfolk alliance has urged Congress to pass a comprehensive rehabilitation law for Guimaras Island after scientists reported a massive drop in the fish supply in the waters off the province.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya or the National Fishers Movement of the Philippines) called on lawmakers to pass a law that would set aside P20 billion for a 10-year rehabilitation program for areas ravaged by 2.1 million liters of bunker fuel that was spilled into the waters and shoreline of Guimaras after M/T Solar I sank off the coast of the island on Aug. 11, 2006.

“We hope the Senate and the House of Representatives will take this proposal seriously. The rehabilitation of Guimaras is a matter of life and death, not only among the people of Guimaras and Iloilo, but for the entire Filipino people. The fish need and food security of the people is at stake here,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap in a statement.

Hicap made the call after marine scientists released results of studies that showed that fish supply in oil spill affected areas dropped by 65 percent. The drastic drop in fish supply was recorded in six monitoring sites in Guimaras from samples taken regularly during the days shortly after the oil spill and also in 2007.

(For the rest, pls. clickRehab fund.)

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