Three days before the fourth month of the Oriental Mindoro oil spill last February 28, but until now, the residents are still pleading for assistance for a tragedy that is not their fault.
Manuelito Pronda, a local of Pinamalayan, asks for assistance for disrupted livelihoods and expresses his demand for this tragedy to end.
“Ako po si Manuelito Pronda na nakatira po dito sa Baybayin, Barangay Marfrancisco, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro. Ako’y nananawagan po sa [may dulot ng] oil spill na sana mabigyan na po [kami] ng kaunting ayuda, nang matapos na po ito sana [at] nang kami’y malaya na pong makapaghanap-buhay. Nahihirapan na rin kami.”
(“I am Manuelito Pronda, living here at Baybayin, Barangay Marfrancisco, Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro. I am calling out [to those who caused] the oil spill, hoping that [we] would be given assistance, so that this would come to an end [and] so that we can freely pursue our livelihoods. We are struggling.”)
President Bongbong Marcos previously said in March that since the recent spill is smaller than the 2006 Guimaras oil spill – that took four months to clean – the Oriental Mindoro oil spill would not take as long as four months. However, this is far from the accounts of the residents, as they still continue to suffer up to this day.
Manuelito is just among the thousands of affected individuals of this devastating spill. His narrative shows us the urgent need to restore their normal lives.
Protect VIP stands in solidarity with the communities in Oriental Mindoro and other affected regions, urging the polluters to pay and compensate for the ecological and economic damages they have inflicted.