THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7 yesterday distributed 270 new
motorized boats with fishing gear to nine local government units in northern Cebu.
The boats are intended for municipal fisherfolk in Sogod, Borbon, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Tuburan, Daanbantayan, San Remegio, Medellin and Bogo City whose boats were destroyed when super typhoon Yolanda made landfall in northern Cebu on Nov. 8, 2013.
BFAR 7 Director Andres Bojos led the ceremonial turnover of the bancas at the Junida Fishport Complex in Barangay Polangbato, Bogo City.
Bojos said BFAR aims to give away a total of 2,000 new motorized bancas to affected fishermen. He added that BFAR allotted P40 to P50 million worth of assistance for affected fisherfolk.
Daanbantayan, Medellin and San Remegio received 50 boats while the other local government units got 20 boats each.
Each boat comes with a fishing net and rod.
Earlier, BFAR distributed 100 bancas in Bantayan Island and 101 bancas in Camotes Island.
Bojos said fisherfolk whose bancas were damaged by the typhoon received construction materials and P1,500 each as financial assistance. The cash aid can be used to hire a carpenter who can fix the boats, in case the fishermen don’t know how, he added.
He said BFAR does not give cash assistance to those who got new boats.
Bojos said one motorized boat costs P22,000, including fishing gear.
He said BFAR based its assistance on the list of registered municipal fiserfolk in affected local government units. Those who have not registered with their local agriculturist’s office are not in the list, he added.
Mayors Celestino Martinez Jr. of Bogo City, Augusto Corro of Daanbantayan, Mariano Martinez of San Remegio and Siegfred Duterte of Tabogon urged unregistered fishermen to register.
“Fishermen must register not only because it is our obligation, but also for our own good,” Mariano said.
The mayors also committed to enforce the law against illegal fishing and support programs of the BFAR.
Bernardino Pianar, 69, president of Tac-op Farmers and Fishermen Association in San Remegio, said he did not expect to get any assistance but he is glad it came because he had not been able to get back on his feet after Yolanda.
Pianar’s boat and small farm were destroyed.
Another fisherman from Tac-op, Beinvenido Tiru, 61, said that when a tree fell on his boat, he went to work at a neighbor’s farm. He earned P100 a day.
Noel Congson, 32, from Polangbato in Bogo, was hired by BFAR to make the boats that were distributed yesterday. His boat was destroyed by Yolanda so he had to find other means of livelihood.
Congson, together with two other fishermen, made 30 boats since January.
BFAR pays them P3,000 for every boat made.