The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), aims to capacitate small-scale fishers by donating upgraded and appropriate vessels such as the first 62-footer fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) tuna handline fishing boat.

FRPs are manufactured by the Pacificfortia Marine Technologies Inc., a local Philippine registered boat makers, it initially delivered the first of 33 units. As per terms of the contract, the first 27 units of FRP will cost P6.3 million each, and 6 units of FRP fishing boats will cost P6.4 million each under the BFAR’s Capacitating Municipal Fisherfolks program (CMFP).

The Program, BFAR’s first-of-kind project of providing bigger and upgraded fishing boats to municipal fishers, will pave the way to improving their socio-economic well-being through modernization of fishing gears/boat. The CMFP is promoted at improving cooperation, collaboration, and strengthen partnerships among sectors to support small fisherfolks cooperatives and help coastal communities grow and be prosperous.

I am for BFAR’s program to alleviate the marginalized fisherfolks who get their livelihood from and within the defined municipal waters of coastal towns. A word of caution is in order, though, after learning the bitter experience after the super typhoon Yolanda when boats where doled out to persons politically aligned with the incumbent LGU heads. The result, some fishing boats were allotted to non-fisherfolks, were abandoned along shoreline NEVER USED TO FISH! Considering the cost of one FRP fishing boats, hope the millions invested in the program do not go down the drain, wasted! Also, what criteria is used in the dispersal of the FRPs?

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