Fisher group says DA's fuel subsidy not enough

Fisher group: Fuel subsidy not enough, seeks more fund to boost production

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 12:00 PM December 31, 2023

The P489.6 million worth of fuel subsidy allotted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) for only 137,448 fisherfolk is insufficient and just “a drop in the ocean.”

These fishermen are seen catching blue crabs along Sugar beach in Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, in this undated photo. — RONNIE BALDONADO / CONTRIBUTOR

MANILA, Philippines — The P489.6 million worth of fuel subsidy allotted by the Department of Agriculture (DA) for only 137,448 fisherfolk is insufficient and just “a drop in the ocean,” according to fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya).

Pamalakaya’s statement came after the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) was granted full authority to distribute the assistance, however, the group pointed out that the amount only covers about five percent of the 2.7 million registered fisherfolk nationwide.


“Bukod sa mababang halaga ng fuel subsidy na P3,000 ay napakaliit na porsyento lamang ng rehistradong mangingisda ang mabibigyan. Sa magkakasunod na taas-presyo ng produktong petrolyo, lahat ng mangingisda ay apektado ang kabuhayan. Eighty percent ng gastusin ng mangingisda sa produksyon ay napupunta lamang sa gastos sa gasolina o krudo,” the group’s vice chairperson Ronnel Arambulo said in a statement on Sunday.


(Aside from the low fuel subsidy of P3,000, only a very small percentage of registered fishermen will be given. The successive price hikes of petroleum products affect all fishermen’s livelihoods. Eighty percent of the fisherman’s production costs go only to fuel or crude oil costs.)

“Naninindigan kaming dapat ay hindi bababa sa P15, 000 ang subsidyo sa produksyon na kailangan ng bawat mangingisda at magsasaka para makaagapay sa tumataas na gastos sa produksyon,” he lamented.

(We maintain that the production subsidy of every fisherman and farmer should stand at P15,000 to keep up with the rising cost of production.)

Pamalakaya likewise said that Congress should prioritize the passage of  House Bill 2024 or the Production Subsidy Bill.

READ: BFAR authorized to release fuel aid for fisherfolk

Under a special order released by the DA, a BFAR official was allowed to govern the distribution of fuel assistance, permitting the attached agency to sign financial documents related to the funds without the agriculture department’s approval.


READ: Fuel subsidy set for agrisector; P3 price hike seen

Based on previous reports, the assistance will be disbursed once the average Dubai crude oil price for three months reaches or exceeds $80  per barrel based on the Mean of Platts Singapore.

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Eligible fisherfolk are those who own and operate motorized fishing vessels individually or via organizations, cooperatives, or associations.

TAGS: fishers, Fuel, Pamalakaya, subsidy

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