TACLOBAN CITY: The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will build 5,020 fiberglass boats until December as the government moves to the next phase of fishing industry recovery assistance in Yolanda-hit areas in Eastern Visayas.
BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said the boat building initiative under the “Ahon Pamilyang Pilipino” program targets fisherfolks whose boats were washed out.
The government will produce two kinds of fiberglass boats—an 18-footer for Leyte Gulf area and a 30 to 40-footer for the Pacific area in Eastern Samar.
“The first phase of our Ahon initiative was the immediate assistance to affected fishermen. The second phase is more sustainable since fiberglass bancas can be used for long-term since they are sturdier,” Albaladejo said.
The region has three boat building areas located in Tacloban City, Tanauan in Leyte, and Guiuan, Eastern Samar. After the project, boat building facilities will be turned over to local government units or fishers’ group for livelihood.
“These boats are injected with floating devise so it would stay afloat during rough seas and keep fishermen safer during bad weather conditions. We noticed that in almost all typhoons, among the casualties are fishermen,” Albaladejo said.
BFAR Ahon’s initiative has already built nearly 15,000 boats in 34 towns and 519 coastal villages in Eastern Visayas since December 2013 until end of June 2014.
Of the total boats completed, 6,787 were in Leyte, 5,380 in Eastern Samar, and 2,231 in Samar. The first phase will still continue in storm-hit areas of Carigara Bay and Biliran Strait, not previously covered by the boat building initiative.
Early this year, the fisheries bureau distributed 10,000 fishing gears. Another 19,000 units are up for distribution in the next months.
“Our assistance covers everything that we lost during the typhoon,” he added.
The region has 59,887 fisherfolks listed in the municipal fishery registration system. About 49,090 were affected by Yolanda.