FUEL DISCOUNT CARD. Recipients in the two coastal towns of Pampanga show the fuel discount cards from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Tuesday (Oct. 4, 2022). A total of 637 fisherfolk in Macabebe and 355 in Masantol each received PHP3,000 worth of fuel discount cards. (Photo courtesy of BFAR-Central Luzon)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – Another group of fisherfolk in this province has benefited from the government’s fuel subsidy program to mitigate the effect of rising oil prices on their industry.

Wilfredo Cruz, director of the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) 3 (Central Luzon), said on Thursday that 637 fisherfolk in Macabebe and 355 others in Masantol, both in this province, each received PHP3,000 worth of fuel discount cards on Tuesday and Wednesday, to be used to purchase gasoline.

With the new recipients, a total of 2,000 fishers in this province have benefited since the program was launched in the region in March.

“Malaking maitutulong nito sa ating mga mangingisda dahil worth PHP3,000 discount ito. So, kapag sila ay papalaot, malaking bagay ito para sa kanila lalo na ngayong mahal ang diesel at gasoline (This PHP3,000 discount is a big help to them when they go fishing, especially now that diesel and gasoline prices are high)," Cruz said in an interview with a regional television network.

Local officials of both coastal towns thanked BFAR for the assistance that could help fishers cope with their

Masantol Mayor Anthony Bustos said it has been his goal to impart to concerned government agencies the needs of the fisherfolk, especially amid the oil price crisis.

Macabebe Vice Mayor Vince Flores, on the other hand, assured that he would continue to coordinate with BFAR.

Data from Regional Fisheries Information Management Center showed that about 4,763 out of the targeted 6,702 fisherfolk in the region have so far received fuel discount cards.

To avail of the fuel subsidy, eligible individuals, cooperatives, and associations must register under the FishR.

They must be using motorized boats with a capacity of three gross tons or below, must be registered under the boat registration program or BoatR, and must be using environment-friendly fishing gear. (PNA)