North Cebu fishers to get 50 motor bancas
Fishing communities in Yolanda-hit areas in northern Cebu are set to receive 50 motorized bancas worth P6 million from the Capitol in March.
Dr. Roldan Saragena, provincial agriculturist, said the funds were downloaded by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to the provincial government in the first quarter of 2015.
“It took some time before we could finally distribute it because we had difficulty in finding a supplier who can give us 50 units,” he told Cebu Daily News.
Saragena said that at present, a Cordova-based manufacturer has completed 70 percent of the goods.
The same manufacturer, he said, has supplied boats to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) as well.
He said the manufacturer promised to finish building all the units by March, during which, the Capitol may also turn over the boats to the beneficiaries.
Three fishermen’s associations in every local government unit will receive one boat worth P80,000 each.
These are the three most active groups in the town identified by the local agriculturist office.
Saragena said the associations will be tasked to manage the boats and should be able to come up with a sustainability plan for their respective units.
The manufacturer used hardwood lumber as material for each boat, which measures 30 feet in length, has a width of 2.8 feet, and a depth of 2.5 feet.
Each unit is powered by a 1.6-horsepower engine, which Saragena said is way higher than what an average fisherman uses, and comes with fishing gear worth P60,000.
An average motorized banca uses only 6 hP, he said. The units to be distributed can carry a maximum of 16 people each.
“This will really help in their livelihood since this boat can really go fast,” said Saragena.
According to a report by non-government organization Oxfam in 2014, fishing communities in the country are among the poorest and most vulnerable sector to impacts of climate change and risk of disasters.
According to estimates by the United Nations, 30,000 boats have been damaged or destroyed when typhoon Yolanda hit several parts of the Visayas in 2013.
Close to 75 percent of these communities have been severely affected, losing crucial equipment like boats, nets, and fish cages.
Countryside development, which includes innovations in agriculture, is second on the governor’s six-key development agenda.
The provincial government has been working on farming and fishing interventions in communities to encourage economic activities in the areas so people will not have to move to bigger cities.
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