The vessel, sent–off by Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, BFAR Assistant Director Asst. Dir. Drusila Esther E. Bayate, and National Marine Fisheries Development Center chief Alma C. Dickson at Pier 3 in North Harbor on June 11, 2014, was loaded with 19,000 units of gill nets, 7,500 line gears and 70 units of deep sea water payao floaters and 350 rolls of ropes at 660 meters per roll.
According to the Agri chief, M/V BFAR’s third voyage to Tacloban is part of President Benigno S. Aquino’s directive to assist the affected families in Leyte and Samar.
The Secretary added that the DA, through BFAR’s AHON Initiative, has already provided 83 per cent assistance to the affected communities.
“Our objective is to revive the livelihood of affected fishers and enable them to attain full recovery. Hopefully we can give out the full 100 per cent assistance by the end of this month”, he said.
To date, DA’s interventions have reached 1,098 coastal barangays in 102 municipalities. A total of 24,109 fishing boats have been built, 18,000 motor engines distributed, and 56,970 units of gill nets and fishing gears awarded.
On top of this, the government is set to train fishers in the manufacture of unsinkable fiberglass boats and fish activity monitoring.
BFAR director Asis Perez said that more livelihood interventions will be implemented before the year ends including the completion of 5,000 units of fiberglass boats called “Bangkang Pinoy” which will be awarded to fisherfolk whose boats were completely destroyed by Yolanda.
BFAR has also downloaded an estimated amount of P154.3 million pesos to the local government units in Regions IVB, V, VI, VII and VIII for the rehabilitation of fish and seaweed farming enterprises, which will include the enhancement of inland fisheries’ production, restoration of mariculture parks and establishment of seaweed nurseries.