Guv gets nod for P5-M aid to Cordova-A A +A
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
THE Cebu Provincial Board (PB) authorized Gov. Hilario Davide III to give a P5-million financial assistance to Cordova, where many fisherfolk have been affected by the oil spill caused by the sinking of mv St. Thomas Aquinas.
The PB, in a resolution adopted during a special session yesterday, allowed Davide to source the financial assistance from the Provincial Government’s calamity fund.
Last week, the PB declared the entire Cebu Province under a state of calamity, although only Cordova and the cities of Talisay and Lapu-Lapu have been directly affected by the oil spill, so far.
Passenger ferry mv St. Thomas Aquinas sank after colliding with cargo vessel mv Sulpicio Express Siete in Lauis Ledge, off Talisay City on Aug. 16. The Aquinas was reportedly carrying a total of 160,000 liters of fuel oil and lube oil.
The Cordova Municipal Council also declared a state of calamity due to the oil spill.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 said it will allot P4 million to help Cordova fisherfolk find other means of livelihood.
In Talisay City, Mayor Johnny de los Reyes got the legislative council’s approval to enter into agreements with the labor and social welfare departments to help fisherfolk affected by the oil spill.
The financial assistance from the Capitol will be used to rehabilitate the town's coastal areas, and help fishermen and fish vendors who cannot make a living because of the oil spill.
PB Member Ribomapil Holganza Jr., who proposed the granting of cash aid, said Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy called him yesterday to ask for help.
During the session, PB Member Thadeo Ouano told the board to require Cordova to submit a liquidation report on how the funds were spent. He said there should also be a list of beneficiaries.
He said the report should reveal how much went to cleanup operations and how much was allotted for livelihood. He added that all 13 barangays in Cordova should get assistance.
Ouano has jurisdiction over Cordova, which is in the sixth district.
DENR 7 public information officer Eddie Llamedo said the financial assistance for Cordova fisherfolk will come from the Asian Development Bank-funded Integrated Coastal Resources Management Project (ICRMP).
Under the ICRMP, DENR commissioned 10 people’s organizations in Cordova to plant mangrove. The DENR said about 300 hectares of these planted mangroves were affected by the oil spill.
The DENR said it intends to demand payment for the damaged mangroves from the company of the vessel that will be found liable for the Aug. 16 collision.
The Special Board of Marine Inquiry is still investigating the accident.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 28, 2013.