By Zaldy De Layola
MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has provided various forms of assistance to the fishers who figured in a maritime incident off the waters of Bajo de Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) on Oct. 2, a ranking official of the department said Tuesday.
Three of the 14 fishers, including the boat’s captain, died during the collision with the foreign vessel MV Pacific Anna, the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker.
Social workers from DSWD 3 (Central Luzon) have also provided psychosocial intervention to the 11 fishers and the bereaved families.
“There is an apparent slight trauma caused by the incident on the survivors but they are coping well and have strong endurance. They expressed emotional distress due to lack of income to support their families,” DWSD-3 Director Venus Rebuldela said.
Rebuldela said the “kumustahan session” and financial assistance helped relieve some of the fishermen’s worries.
The DSWD-3 provided PHP190,000 worth of assistance that includes food aid amounting to PHP70,000; educational assistance worth PHP90,000; and PHP10,000 burial assistance each to the families of the deceased fishers.
The families of the three fishers will also receive educational assistance upon completion of the needed documentation.
“They were also provided with information and were assessed for eligibility for the Sustainable Livelihood Program,” Rebuldela said. (PNA)