4,500 boats up for typhoon-stricken fishermen in Iloilo

ILOILO – A week after it was officially launched, the “Adopt a Fisherman” program has gained grounds and more donations from private and international organizations were coming to help typhoon survivors back on their feet.

A total of 4,500 fishing boats costing between P60- to P67-million have been pledged for the program and this would benefit the fishermen in hardest hit towns like Concepcion, Estancia and Carles.

According to Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has started rolling out the program by turning over engines and construction materials to initial 73 beneficiaries in Concepcion on Wednesday.

On the following day, Senate President Franklin Drilon, together with his wife, Mila, also came in the town to turn over ten of the 100 units of fishing boats they pledged to donate.

The couple have raised P2-million for the 100 units of fishing boats and they were inclined to look for more funds to purchase 100 more.

Drilon also said that he eyed using Senate’s savings to procure more boats for other affected provinces in the Visayas.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources headed by Regional Director Drusila Esther Bayate gave 100 crab traps in addition to their previous 450 motor engine donations.

The Adopt a Fisherman Program aims to generate funds and donations to construct brand new motorboats for 9,000 marginalized fishermen who lost their livelihood during the onslaught of Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ on November 8, 2013.

In Concepcion alone, 9,444 families composed of 42,942 individuals were displaced by Yolanda. Of the families affected, 5,721 remained homeless to date since their houses were totally ruined, while 2,723 have their houses partially damaged.

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) also reported that Concepcion suffered from P88-million losses in agriculture.

In terms of the livelihood of marginalized fisher folks, MDRRMC said 1,530 out of 2,346 registered fishing boats in the town were totally damaged and the numbers affect 248 families. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno)



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