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20,000 more boats up for ‘Yolanda’ victims

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will be raising an additional 20,000 units of fishing boats to cover more typhoon Yolanda-affected fisherfolk.

Under the Ahon! Rehabilitation Initiative, some 10,000 units of fishing boats were initially distributed to the fisherfolk-beneficiaries since the program started in December.

In a culminating ceremony in Tacloban City, BFAR Director Asis Perez announced the start of the Phase 2 of Ahon! – that raises the initial goal of 10,000 boats to 20,000 units.

This will bring to 30,000 units the total of those repaired and newly-built fishing boats that will benefit fisherfolk by the end of the initiative.

“We have already brought down 10,500 units of boat to the affected fisherfolk in Mimaropa, Western, Central and Eastern Visayas. This, however, comprises only one-third of the total number of fishing boats destroyed and damaged by the typhoon and still leaves thousands of fisherfolk without fishing boats,” Perez said.

The BFAR expressed optimism that it will be able to cover its target through the partnership it has formed with other government agencies, private corporations and individuals who have contributed to the success of the program.

Perez also cited the immense contribution of the fisherfolk who donated the salvaged hull of their damaged banca and rudder or propeller in the program.

He likewise pointed out that the fisherfolk helped in the repair and construction of boats.

Donor-representatives from the private sector also flew in to Tacloban City to witness the turnover of fishing boats, as well as to meet the beneficiaries.