FUEL SUBSIDY. Fisherfolk in Barangay Saud, Pagudpud, and Ilocos Norte in this undated photo cut back on their fishing trips to save on fuel. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Ilocos Norte said on Saturday (Aug. 20, 2022) it has started distributing fuel discount cards to eligible fisherfolk. (File photo by Leilanie Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) started distributing cards with PHP3,000 worth of fuel discounts to eligible fisherfolk in the coastal towns of Ilocos Norte on Friday.

An initial 41 fishermen from Laoag City and Paoay town received their fuel discount cards, Vanessa Abegail Dagdagan, senior aquaculturist at the BFAR Ilocos Norte, said on Saturday.

“The card has PHP3,000 worth of fuel discounts to participating gasoline stations in the province,” she said.

Close to 600 fisherfolk in the eight coastal towns of the province were eligible for the fuel subsidy program of the national government to cushion the impact of rising oil prices.

Dagdagan said only registered fishermen using legal fishing equipment and owning no less than three gross tonnage fishing boats are qualified under the program.

The BFAR maintains a boat registry system and it is regularly updated under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture which identifies qualified beneficiaries.

Many fishermen in the province have reportedly cut back on their fishing trips due to soaring fuel prices. (PNA)