President Benigno Aquino 3rd led the awarding of newly built fishing boats to fisherfolk in coastal communities affected by the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
During the 28th anniversary of EDSA People Power in Visayas, the President awarded new and repaired units of fishing boats and other forms of assistance to typhoon-hit fisherfolk in the said coastal community.
Accompanied by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, former senator and now Typhoon Yolanda rehab czar Panfilo Lacson and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, President Aquino visited the municipality of Bantayan in Bantayan Island, Northern Cebu to check on the progress of the rehabilitation efforts in the area.
Located more than 130 kilometers off the shore of mainland Northern Cebu, Bantayan Island is the fourth out of six landmasses where Yolanda made landfall on November 8, 2013.
As part of its continuous efforts to rebuild central Philippines, the government through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Department of Agriculture launched “Ahon!” a government-private sector rehabilitation initiative that has been in operation for
more than three months now.
Under Ahon!, a total of 449 fisherfolk in the Municipality of Bantayan were given assistance in the form of materials for boat repair such as plywood, copper nails, and marine epoxy worth about P1.8 million.
In addition, 50 units of newly built pumpboats with 5.5 hp motor engines amounting to P750,000 or P15,000 per unit and 50 units of repaired boats—each comes with P1,500 cash-for-work incentive; 15 tons of seaweeds seedlings; and 100 sets of fishing gears have been distributed.
After his visit to Bantayan Island, the President along with his team also went to inspect various rehabilitation efforts in Region 8 particularly in the Municipality of Guiuan, Eastern Samar where Super Typhoon Yolanda first wrought-havoc.
Guiuan town, a fishing community of 60 barangays, mostly islands, is one project site in the Eastern Visayas under the Ahon! Initiative. As of February 21, a total of 7,616 beneficiaries were assisted through Ahon! in the entire Region 8.
In Guiuan, 880 beneficiaries were given assistance in the form of boat repair materials such as plywood sheets, nails, epoxy, paints including engines in some cases. Of the number of fisherfolk to receive assistance, 332 boats are now being used for fishing.
The value of the materials, cash-for-work incentives and engines given thus far has already reached P5.3 million. As for the last monitoring, another 150 beneficiaries have completed the repairs and are set to receive engine and cash incentives, bringing a total of 482 functional fishing boats in Guiuan alone.