The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said that it has completed about a third of its target 10,000 boats for fishing families affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
BFAR Executive Director Asis Perez said that some 6,308 fishing boats have been constructed since the launching of the agency’s boat building initiative “Ahon! Sampung Libong Bangka para sa Dalawampung Libong Pamilya.”
“We are very pleased to see the progress of Ahon! as it continues to reach more and more fisher folk in typhoon-hit fishing villages of the country,” Perez said.
The BFAR chief said that the current total number of fishing boats built and/or repaired under the Ahon! would benefit some 12,616 families in Regions 6, 7 and 8.
At least 22 municipalities had been reached out in Region 8 while 11 in Region 6. In Region 7, 14 coastal municipalities are target beneficiaries, he added.
In the Eastern Visayas, assistance to rebuild the damaged boats of fisher folk was given in the form of materials for repair and construction such as plywood, nails and marine adhesives.
“Once construction and repair is completed, fisher folk beneficiaries can expect the awarding of motor engine and fishing gears,” he said.
Since December last year, 10 teams were deployed in Leyte and Samar provinces to conduct actual boat damage assessment simultaneous with the delivery of the required boat-building materials to the affected fisher folk, whose counterpart is the labor for the repair of their own boats.
Still part of the strategy to speed up the rehabilitation of municipal fisher folk, BFAR has set up a boat building site in Bogo City, Northern Cebu.
Meanwhile, contributions and pledges from the private sector continue to pour in. At present, cash donations has reached P2.7 million, while in-kind contributions amounted to P39,000 plus 30 units of fishing boats.
On February 1 and 2, two of Ahon!’s partners from the private sector, Charoen Pokphand or C. P. Foods and Federico Sevilla Jr., will personally turnover a total of 213 sponsored fishing boats to the fisher folk beneficiaries in Samar province, specifically in Guiuan and Basey.
To recall, thousands of boats and fishing equipment were lost to Yolanda.
To jumpstart the Ahon! initiative, BFAR has earmarked some P50 million, of which the bulk will be used to build the bancas (motorized boats) and the construction of 350 units of shallow-water payao (fish catching platform).