383 families affected by oil spill to return home today

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

THE 383 families affected by the oil spill in Barangay Botongon, Estancia, Iloilo are expected to return home today with the United Nations Higher Commission on Refugees (UNCHR) donating tents to serve as their temporary shelters.

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., in his press conference on Thursday, said the families have remained at the Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC) even after the Department of Health (DOH) recommended their safe return to their homes on December 19.

The affected families were forced to evacuate the area right after Typhoon Yolanda destroyed their houses.

The governor said the families are just waiting for the tents to arrive.

The toxicology team sent by the DOH, East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital and Environmental Management Bureau, found zero parts per million (PPM )of benzene after their monitoring of the ambient air on the oil spill site from December 17 to 18. The team then recommended for the evacuees to return home.

Defensor said that of the 533 families (2,600 individuals), about 50 families were able to return home before Christmas Day, while 483 families remained at the tent city.

Of the 483 families who remained at the tent city, 383 families will be going home on Thursday once they get the tents.

The 100 families, who will remain, are those living within 20-meter radius of the oil spill site that had been cordoned off until such time a total clean-up has been carried out. (PNA)

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