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Agency appeals for 10,000 fishing boats for Yolanda-affected fishermen

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) urged non-government organizations (NGOs) and private individuals to help in the acquisition of 10,000 fishing boats for the 20,000 fisherfolk-families affected by typhoon Yolanda.

BFAR has launched a rehabilitation initiative that will ensure immediate livelihood assistance to the distressed fisherfolk.

The said initiative launched in Cebu City and called “Ahon! Sampung Libong Bangka para sa Dalawampung Libong Pamilya” aims to rally 10,000 fishing boats or bancas in three months to help rebuild the livelihoods of the typhoon-affected families.

“Thousands of boats and fishing equipment have been lost to Yolanda when the calamity struck weeks ago. Our main concern right now is to help our fisherfolk get back to their livelihood,” BFAR Director Asis Perez said.

To jumpstart this initiative, the bureau has already earmarked some P50 million, of which the bulk will be used to build the initial 3,000 bancas.

The remaining amount will go to the construction of 350 units of shallow-water fish aggregating devices locally called “payao,” which the bureau will install to provide fisherfolk with targeted fishing areas.

The devastation, however, is at magnanimous scale and with pressing urgency that the BFAR will need the support of partner government agencies, NGOs, the private sector and individual volunteers to work together in addressing this immediate need of the fisherfolk, Perez said.

“We are very happy with the influx of support the public is coursing through us.
Even before the launching, we have already been receiving pledges of commitment for this initiative. And they are most welcomed to join us,” Perez explained.

He said a six-meter long fishing boat without a motor engine is estimated at P6,000 and if equipped with a motor engine would cost P15,000. Perez, however, clarified that BFAR will not accept cash contributions.

He pointed out that monetary assistance will have to go through participating non-profit organizations based in strategic locations.

BFAR will place material collection hubs in Cebu and Butuan City where supplies could be bought or delivered and can easily be loaded on the bureau’s multi-mission vessel, M/V DA-BFAR, which will then sail to Tacloban City and Guiuan in Eastern Samar or in Carmen, Cebu where the boat-building areas are.

Perez said materials necessary in boat construction, including marine plywood, marine epoxy, nails, 5-HP motor engines and stainless steel bars among others will be accepted and may be brought to drop-off centers in strategic areas.

As for the selection of fisherfolk-beneficiaries, the bureau in coordination with the local government units will make use of the data collected through the Fisherfolk Registration System (FRS), the national database for municipal fisherfolk registration, which was launched last July.

  • w.andrada

    Fishing is the main source of livelihood among the victims of the recent calamity.The government should use a big portion of the foreign donations to establish cooperatives to help our fisherman who had lost everything from Yolanda’s devastation and also the fishing industry’s infrastructure that were wiped out.We should not hesitate to ask for help from rich countries and international corporations like Japan, All of Scandinavia,or even China for partnerships or low interest loans to rehab and resettle our fishing industries. Our country is well known for it’s culture of corruption and red tape, so partnership with them and their direct involvement should be encouraged as an inducement to assure a good return on their investment.