PAYOUT. A social worker from DSWD Field Office Mimaropa hands over the cash assistance to a beneficiary during the payout activity of the Emergency Cash Transfer for oil spill victims in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro on Thursday (June 1, 2023). Over PHP127.7 million will be distributed to some 14,291 individuals affected by the oil spill. (Photo courtesy of DSWD)

MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Friday said it started the distribution of cash assistance for the full recovery of formal and informal fisherfolk heavily affected by the Mindoro oil spill.

In a news release, the DSWD said its Field Office (FO) in Mimaropa on Thursday kicked off the cash payout under its Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) Program in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro where some 233 fisherfolk with motorized boats received the cash aid.

Under the ECT program, some 14,291 affected individuals from both informal and formal fishing sectors in Oriental Mindoro will benefit from the new set of cash payouts.

The payout will start this month following the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to continue assisting the affected population.

More than PHP127.7 million in funds will be distributed by the DSWD to the affected fisherfolk from the municipalities of Baco, Bansud, Bongabong, Bulalacao, Gloria, Mansalay, Naujan, Pinamalayan, Roxas, San Teodoro, Socorro, Victoria and the City of Calapan, all in Oriental Mindoro province.

DSWD spokesperson Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said financial aid was provided to the affected populations to help them get to normal lives after the oil spill incident.

“While the province is slowly returning to normalcy, the Department continues to provide various interventions, including the provision of family food packs and cash assistance, to the oil spill-affected fisherfolk as part of its early recovery and rehabilitation phase,” Lopez said.

According to the latest results of the water and fish laboratory tests conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), water areas in the municipalities of Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, Bulalacao, Puerto Galera, Baco and San Teodoro are now within acceptable standards for fishing activities.

Support mission

Meanwhile, the DSWD announced that Secretary Rex Gatchalian on Friday led the discussion for the third Implementation Support Mission (ISM) of the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project (PMNP) at the DSWD Central Office.

To be conducted in partnership with the Department of Health and the World Bank in Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), the project will provide an opportunity for implementers to gain a better understanding of the contextual factors which may affect the PMNP implementation, particularly at sub-national levels.

It also provides an opportunity to engage with key project stakeholders such as municipal and barangay local government units, health providers, community volunteer groups, among others.

The PMNP is a holistic project that aims to harmonize the delivery of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions to reduce stunting in targeted localities around the country. (PNA)