Pangilinan urged: Speed up delivery of boats to displaced fishers
MANILA, Philippines—One of the first things Francis Pangilinan, the newly appointed presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization, must do is to distribute 100,000 fishing boats to fisher folk who lost theirs to super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) last November, a fishermen’s group said Wednesday.
The militant fisher folk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) challenged the former senator to accomplish that task as soon as possible for the fishermen to recover from the devastation of the storm.
In a press statement, Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources had so far distributed only 12,000 fishing boats to fishermen who survived Yolanda.
He said providing the fishing boats would do much to jump-start the economic rehabilitation of fishing areas affected by “Yolanda”, which claimed thousands of lives in Eastern Visayas.
“We challenge the newly appointed presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization to come up with decisive program of action that would address this highly needed and urgent concern of small fishermen,” France said.
“Our estimate sees the need to distribute at least 100,000 fishing boats to revive fish production and livelihood affected by Super typhoon ‘Yolanda’,” he said. “But the national government so far has only accomplished the distribution of 12,000 fishing boats, which is 88 percent or 88,000 short of the practical target.”
France also noted that aside from 12,000 fishing boats, the agriculture department has managed so far to provide only 4,000 fishing nets and put up 200 payaos, or buoys, costing a total of P40 million.
Pamalakaya said the 100,000 fishing boats should be distributed for free and should cover the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Northern Cebu, Northern Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Guimaras, Northern Negros, Palawan, Masbate, Mindoro Oriental and Mindoro Occidental.
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