Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito Dolor said a claims office has already been established in the region to help residents affected by the oil spill crisis caused by the sunken MT Princess Empress.
Dolor announced in a media briefing that four claims processors have arrived in Oriental Mindoro and a physical office in the capitol was set up to cater people filing for compensation.
Employees of the capitol will undergo training to further assist the locals in processing of their application, the governor said.
The claims processors will also establish offices in different towns so residents would not have to travel to the capitol to file their claims.
A claims officer said that on Friday, the first established office will be open to the public and will be ready to accept forms for claiming insurance.
Residents who will file for compensation will need to bring a government ID, while registered fishermen, fish vendors, boat owners, tourism-related business owners are asked to bring in their registration papers.
Dolor said registered fisherfolks are the top priority in claiming insurance.
A claims officer explained that everyone can file for compensation as long as they are legitimate claimants with the right forms and requirements.
A claims officer said that it is possible that a claim could be processed in 30 days but there is no definite time on when claimants will receive compensation.
The officer assured Dolor that progress will be made in three months.
The officers said that for residents to claim their compensation, they will need to sign an agreement that they will not pursue a case against the tanker.
The officers also clarified that the agreement is not a form of bribery but rather a choice for an amicable settlement.
There are more than 170,000 people affected by the crisis, with over 13,000 fisherfolks as reported by the government.
Meanwhile, more than 9,000 liters of oily water mixture have been collected by the Philippine Coast Guard during its offshore oil spill response.
In a statement released on Monday, PCG said that more than 900 liters of oily water mixture was collected on March 26, bringing the total collected contaminated mixture to 9,463 liters and 115 sacks of contaminated materials in its offshore clean-up efforts.
The ill-fated tanker was carrying 800,000 industrial fuel when it sank off the waters of Oriental Mindoro on February 28.