Oil spill in San Ricardo, Southern Leyte impacts families, fisherfolk; assistance underway

Oil spill in San Ricardo, Southern Leyte impacts families, fisherfolk; assistance underway

An oil spill in the Port of San Ricardo, Southern Leyte, has affected families and fisherfolk in two barangays. Relief efforts are underway, with DSWD-8 ready to assist those affected by the spill. Photo: San Ricardo PNP/Facebook

TACLOBAN CITY – An oil spill in the Port of San Ricardo has caused significant disruption for families and fisherfolk in the region. The incident, currently under investigation by the Philippine National Police – Maritime Group, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the local government unit (LGU), has raised concerns for the affected communities.

Reports indicate that the spill occurred around noon on Friday, July 7, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VIII was notified about it on Sunday, July 9.

 Initial assessments conducted by the Southern Leyte Provincial Disaster Response and Management Office (PDRMO) point to one of the passenger vessels docked at the San Ricardo port as the likely source of the oil spill.

The oil spill's impact has been felt most heavily in Barangays Benit and Timba, with the oil spreading within a one-kilometer radius of the municipal waters. 

Approximately 297 families, consisting of 1,118 individuals, have been directly affected. Barangay Benit has reported 196 affected families (782 individuals), while Barangay Timba has reported 101 affected families (335 individuals).

Efforts are underway to assist those impacted by the oil spill. Coordination between local authorities and community leaders is ongoing to determine the most effective forms of support. 

Food-for-work programs have been suggested as a possible option, allowing individuals to participate in shoreline cleanup efforts while receiving essential food provisions. —iTacloban (Source: DSWD-8)

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