The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will again send the vessel MV DA-BFAR to Tacloban City to deliver thousands of fishing implements to Typhoon Yolanda-affected fishermen in Eastern Visayas.
In a simple send-off ceremony at the Navotas Fish Port Complex, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the undertaking is part of the government’s effort, through BFAR’s AHON! Rehabilitation Initiative, to hasten the recovery of the region’s fishing communities.
“The DA is determined to optimize government intervention in various forms of assistance for the fisheries sector’s full recovery,” Alcala said.
He added that the vessel is loaded with more than 19,000 units of gill nets, more than 7,500 pieces of various line gears – including tuna handline, multiple handle and bottom set longline. It is also provisioned with deep sea water payao (fish aggregating device) floaters and 350 rolls of ropes measuring 660 meters each.
BFAR National Director Asis Perez noted that in seven months after its launching, AHON! has covered 1,098 coastal barangays in 102 municipalities and built some 24,109 fishing boats, or almost 75 percent of the target 32,224 units.
Perez also said that 18,000 motor engines have been distributed, while 56,970 units of gill nets and fishing gears have been awarded to fishermen-beneficiaries in the affected regions.
Also, BFAR has released an estimated P154.3 million to the local government units of MIMAROPA and Central and Eastern Visayas for the rehabilitation of fish and seaweed farming livelihoods, which include enhancement of inland fisheries’ production, restoration of mariculture parks and establishment of seaweed nurseries.
Perez said that more livelihood interventions will be undertaken before the year-end, including the completion of 5,000 units of fiberglass boats which will be awarded to fishermen whose boats were completely destroyed by the typhoon.