The State of the Oil Spill press conference was held today at Pola, Oriental Mindoro, to address the current status of the oil spill and affected residents.
The discussion was led by Jennifer Cruz, mayor of Pola; Fr. Edwin Gariguez, convenor of Protect VIP; Ferdinand Melaya, convenor of Koalisyon ng Mangingisdang Apektado ng Oil Spill (KMAOS); Brent Ivan Andres, program head for Oceans, Coastal Communities, and Climate Program of Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development; Jennifer Jaqueca, fisherfolk from Pinamalayan; and Amor Paez, fisherfolk from Pola.
Despite the declaration of the Philippine Coast Guard that the recovery operations are already complete, the press conference stressed the prevailing effects of the spill as it approaches its fifth month.
"According sa Philippine Coast Guard, 100% cleared ang dalampasigan ng Pola mula sa oil spill. Pero sa pagbisita natin 2-3 days ago, meron pang malalaking tarballs. The real situation is marami pa tayong kailangang linisin," said Mayor Cruz.
"Ang sitwasyon namin mahirap talaga, maraming nawalan ng hanapbuhay. Yung mga mangingisda na maliit ag kinikita, walang pangbayad sa school, tiution fee, kuryente pangbili ng napkin, toothpaste. Mabigat ito para sa isang maliit na mamamayan," she added.