The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Sunday said the AHON! Rehabilitation Initiative has surpassed its target of distributing fishing boats to coastal communities affected by super typhoon Yolanda.
BFAR director Asis Perez said over 30,000 units of newly-built and repaired boats and material benefitted fishermen in Eastern, Central and Western Visayas and Palawan.
“AHON! worked because a lot of people supported this initiative. From private individuals, corporations, government, non-governmental organizations to the survivors themselves, each one contributed to AHON!’s success,” said Perez, also Agriculture Undersecretary for Fisheries.
He said more than 5,000 fiberglass boats are still being constructed for Eastern Visayas fisherfolk. The boats which AHON! built and distributed were to replace those destroyed by the typhoon based on the agency’s ground assessment.
Perez said that aside from boats, AHON! also covered post-harvest equipment particularly chest freezers, which were turned over to women fisherfolk associations.
So far, BFAR has distributed 18,000 units of 5.5 horsepower (hp), 7.5 hp, and 12 hp marine engines, 50,557 units of line gears and 35,224 units of gill nets for both motorized and non-motorized fishing boats.
A total of P178 million was used for the rehabilitation of seaweed farms which were also damaged by the typhoon. Distributed to farmers were 13,840 rolls of 1,000-meter Polyethylene ropes, 3,460 units of plastic twines, 356,750 pieces of plastic floaters and 865 metric tons of seaweed seedlings.
BFAR was part of the commemoration of the first year anniversary of typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban City from November 4 to 7. Also present were Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Sen. Cynthia Villar, head of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, local government officials, private sector, NGOs, and farmers and fisherfolk.