ILOILO City Agriculturist's Office (Icao) in partnership with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Western Visayas distributed 18 fiberglass-reinforced plastic boats with engines and accessories to fisherfolks from 10 coastal fishing barangays during City Hall flag ceremony March 13.

The City Government will also be utilizing two fiberglass boats for Fishery Law Enforcement and Iloilo River garbage collection and clean-up.

The recipient barangays are Sto. Niño Sur, Sto. Niño Norte, Calaparan, and Calumpang in Arevalo district; Ingore and Hinactacan in Lap Paz; Bo. Orebro, Lapuz; Bitoon, Jaro; South San Jose, Molo; and Navais, Mandurriao.

The boats are worth P55,000 each and will be used for livelihood, barangay Bantay Dagat, coastal clean-up, and disaster response.

The beneficiaries must be registered fishermen in the city, designated as boat recipients by Punong Barangay, recommended by Iloilo City Fisherfolk Association, willing to undergo training in fishery law enforcement and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) , as well as cooperate in response to reports of illegal fishing and other fishing violations.

The Provision of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Boats Project in communities aims to promote new technology and ensure safety of fisherfolks at sea while reducing the need to cut down trees commonly used for wooden boats.

"The recipients should put the fiberglass boats to good use; they are lucky as beneficiaries and must ensure the responsibility to take care of the boats as a means of livelihood and at the same time to help the barangays in terms of disaster response and campaign against illegal fishing," ICAO-Fisheries Section Head Renato Madrilejo said.

The fisherfolk beneficiaries are expected to provide monthly fish catch data, assist in coastal resource management activities, and strictly follow fishery laws and regulations as role models of their community.

The initiative seeks to deliver support for capacity enhancement to local fisherfolks and promote modernization of fishing practices in metropolis. (PR)