CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Central Luzon (BFAR-3) has allotted some 2 million fingerlings to fisherfolk in the region who were affected by the recent Typhoons Egay and Falcon as well as the enhanced southwest monsoon rains.
BFAR-3 Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz said on Wednesday that the fingerlings are now ready for distribution following the assessment made as to the extent of damage brought by the weather disturbances to the fisheries sector in the region.
“Nakahanda na po at ready na (It is already ready) for distribution to our small fishers, particularly in the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan which were heavily affected by the typhoons,” Cruz said in a radio interview.
He said that based on the validated reports from the different municipalities in the region, the total cost of damage to the fisheries sector was over PHP500 million, affecting some 5,000 fishermen.
The BFAR official also said that a proposal was already made for a quick response fund for the rehabilitation and recovery from losses in the fisheries sector.
“It is up to the Department of Agriculture on how much they are going to release. We proposed based on the damage cost but there will be another validation. Whatever will be the actual validation of the extent of damage, that will be the quick response fund,” he said.
Last year, Cruz said the BFAR-3 received some PHP85 million quick response fund which was used to provide assistance to fishers affected by Typhoons Karding and Paeng.
Likewise, Cruz said included in this year’s proposal is a feed subsidy.
“Kasi kung bibigyan mo lang ang ating mangingisda ng fingerlings at wala naman silang ipapakain ay masasayang lang. Kaya isinama na rin namin sa aming proposal ang feed subsidy (Because if we only give fingerlings to our fishermen and they have nothing to feed, it will go to waste. That’s why we include feed subsidy to our proposal),” he added.
Cruz noted that the DA, through BFAR, is continuously providing assistance to the fisheries sector and not only during calamities.
Aside from fingerlings, he said BFAR likewise distributes fishing equipment and other paraphernalia to boost the fishing communities in the region.
Last Aug. 25, the DA-BFAR distributed some PHP1 million worth of fishery intervention and agricultural input to seven fisherfolk organizations in Bulacan.
Cruz said those distributed include fishing equipment, gear, boat engines and post-harvest equipment that are essential for sustainable fishing practices. (PNA)