In a radio interview, Mr Drilon said the motorized bancas are his donation and Christmas gift to the affected fishermen in the municipalities of Concepcion, Estancia and Carles, all in northern Iloilo who were battered by Super Typhoon Yolanda last November 8, 2013.
According to SunStar, the regional disaster risk reduction and management council (RDRRMC) said that some 10,000 fishing boats of municipal fishermen were destroyed by the typhoon.
The catch of municipal fishing accounts the bulk of commercial fish production and the waters around the three towns are considered as the rich fishing grounds of Western Visayas.
Estancia hosts most catch of fishermen with big fishing vessels and fish traders awaiting the daily catch.
A week after it was officially launched, the “Adopt a Fisherman” program has gained grounds and more donations from private and international organizations were coming in to help typhoon survivors get back on their feet.
A total of 4,500 fishing boats costing between P60 to P67 million have been pledged for the program. This would benefit the fishermen in hardest hit towns of Concepcion, Estancia and Carles.
Iloilo Provincial Administrator Raul Banias said Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has started rolling out the program by turning over engines and construction materials to initial 73 beneficiaries in Concepcion on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Senate President Franklin Drilon, together with his wife, Mila, also came in the town to turn over ten of the 100 units of fishing boats they pledged to donate.
The couple has raised P2-million for the 100 units of fishing boats and they were inclined to look for more funds to purchase 100 more.
Mr Drilon also said that he eyed using Senate’s savings to procure more boats for other affected provinces in the Visayas.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources headed by Regional Director Drusila Esther Bayate gave 100 crab traps in addition to their previous 450 motor engine donations.
The Adopt a Fisherman Program aims to generate funds and donations to construct brand new motorboats for 9,000 marginalized fishermen who lost their livelihood during the onslaught of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ on 8 November 2013.
In Concepcion alone, 9,444 families composed of 42,942 individuals were displaced by Yolanda. Of the families affected, 5,721 remained homeless to date since their houses were totally ruined, while 2,723 have their houses partially damaged.
The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) also reported that Concepcion suffered from P88-million losses in agriculture.
In terms of the livelihood of marginalized fisher folks, MDRRMC said 1,530 out of 2,346 registered fishing boats in the town were totally damaged and the numbers affect 248 families.