Fishermen affected by ‘Pablo’ to get fiberglass boats

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 July) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources plans to distribute 400 fiberglass boats to Pablo-hit areas, especially in areas in Davao Oriental.

In an interview Tuesday, BFAR Regional Director Fatma Idris said the distribution is patterned after a project that the national office implemented in coastal areas in Tacloban affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Idris said each boat costs around P30,000, with initial funding for the project estimated to be around P34 million.

She added that the project would be implemented in the next three months.

The BFAR official said that the office is now in the procurement and presentation stage of the project.

“We’re looking forward to their reception of the boats, and we will continue the distribution if the recipients like what they receive,” Idris said.

She said that the fiberglass boats are easier to mass produce and are sturdier, compared with marine plyboard.

Last month, the agency said it would distribute around 5,000 “Bangkang Pinoy” fiberglass boats to Yolanda-hit coastal areas to help the barangays restart their livelihoods.

According to an earlier statement by BFAR, the project aims to give fisherfolk in the Yolanda areas replacement units for those whose boats were destroyed in the typhoon.

The project is part of BFAR’s AHON Rehabilitation project, which would distribute 30,000 fishing boats in Mimaropa, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.

“In seven months since the initiative started, AHON! has already covered 1,098 coastal barangays in 102 municipalities and built 24,109 fishing boats or almost 75 percent of the initiative’s target,” according to BFAR.

“These fiberglass boats are designed to survive rough seas and keep fishers safely afloat even when unexpected disasters strike at sea,” BFAR national director Asis G. Perez said in a statement.

In May earlier this year, the agency said it had trained around 45 personnel in building fiberglass boats at the National Marine Fisheries Development Center in Sangley Point in Cavite.

The Yolanda project included the distribution of fishing gear and motor engines.