BFAR-CAR turns over fiberglass boats to Ambuklao fisherfolks

BOKOD, Benguet – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cordillera (BFAR-CAR) last week turned-over motorized fishing boats made from fiberglass to fisherfolks of Sitio Kiweng, Barangay Ambuklao this town.

Forty fisherfolks received 20 units of 20-footer motorized fishing boats and their certificates of award during a simple ceremony along the Ambuklao River from BFAR-CAR Director Lilibeth Signey, Bokod municipal and Ambuklao barangay officials last January 3.

Each fishing boat has two beneficiaries to promote shared ownership and responsibilities to ensure its upkeep and maintenance. In return, beneficiaries shall submit catch record to BFAR each time the boat is utilized for fishing and shall report any form of illegal and destructive fishing, Signey said.

The fabrication of the fishing boats was done by the beneficiaries themselves through the scheme “Bangka Ko, Gawa Ko” that aims not just to provide livelihood assistance through the provision of FRP boats for the fishermen but to also encourage and build cooperativism among the fishing communities.

Signey said the project is part of BFAR’s F/B Pagbabago Livelihood and Development Program in line with the DA-BFAR’s mandate to “Improve fisheries productivity and empower stakeholders towards food security, global competitiveness and climate change adaptation.”

F/B Pagbabago is a livelihood intervention of the DA-BFAR under its National Fisherfolk Program dubbed as Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation or TARGET.

It aims to uplift the economic status of Filipino fisherfolk through the provision of disaster-resilient fishing boats and resource-appropriate fishing gears, while at the same time empowering the fisherfolk and their families to become responsible resource users.

The program is anchored on a comprehensive approach to fisheries development following the Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries Management to ensure the sustainability of the resource and shall integrate the development of both production and marketing channels to enable fisherfolk to optimize economic returns, and thus improve their economic plight.

The turn over ceremony was also witnessed by Bokod Municipal Agriculturist Gerardo Beray, Sangguniang Bayan Chairman for Agriculture Johnny Sama, Councilor Alejandro Basilio, newly designated BFAR-CAR Chief of Fisheries Production Support Services Division Lois June B. Fermin, and Provincial Fisheries Officer-Designate for Benguet Arnulfo E. Taberna, Jr. (JDP/ RMC- PIA CAR)