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Dispatches from a Disaster: "Worse than COVID"

Naujan, Oriental Mindoro - The Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development captured images showing livelihood uncertainties for the residents of Oriental Mindoro whose lives have been on pause due to the ongoing oil spill in the province.


Fisherfolks say that this situation is 'worse than COVID' as they decry the impact of no-fishing order of the local government, leaving them with no alternative livelihood to tide them over the next months as the retrieval of sunken tanker is still uncertain. Fish vendors and other residents whose source of income are from jobs generated by tourism also reel from the impacts and ask for immediate response from the government.


Photos are by Jilson Tiu.


 


Fisherfolks are ordered to keep off from fishing activities as the toxic oil continues to spread over the waters of Oriental Mindoro. Questions over the supply of fish in the market in Pola, one of the hardest hit town, and suitability for human consumption leave fish vendors worrying about their income.



Fishing boats are parked on the shores of Naujan with no clear timeline on how they can go out to the sea to resume fishing activities.



Fisherfolk Jennifer Jaqueca said: “While there were restrictions, we were able to make a living during the pandemic. Unlike now, we’re banned from fishing because of the oil spill. What will happen to us?”




Residents of Barangay Batuhan Sitio Kabilang Ibayo gather by their idle fishing boats which are now exclusively used to transport people across to the next barangay.





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