TACLOBAN CITY- Livelihood support for fishermen who lost their source of income and upkeep in the aftermath of supertyphoon Yolanda in the municipalities of Guiuan and Salcedo, in Eastern Samar, received fishing boats on July 8 from the Kabuhayan Para sa Kaunlaran (KAISA), a non-government organization, funded by the Chinese-Filipino (Tsinoy) community.

According to Annabel Chua Lim, project coordinator of KAISA with the project dubbed as “Bangkabuhayan,” a total of 25 fishing boats were turned over in Salcedo and another 25 for Guiuan.

Teresita Ang See, chairman of KAISA, led the turnover. Lim said that this is just an initial support to the fisherfolks of Eastern Samar and Samar. Sometime in September another 50 bancas will be turned over to Marabut in Samar and Giporlos, Eastern Samar.

A memorandum of agreement was signed during the turn over with the mayors, KAISA, HFFI and the beneficiaries.The fishing boats donation cannot be sold, pawned, dismantled and bartered. The beneficiaries shall also not engage in illegal fishing activities.

Lim added that seven big groups in the Chinese Filipino community have united as one to respond to disastrous calamities. Leading the donor groups that donated 300 boats to different beneficiaries are the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.; Federation of Filipino-Chinese Associations of the Philippines; World News Daily; Filipino-Chinese Amity Club, Overseas Chinese Alumni Association of the Philippines; Filipino-Chinese Shin Lian Association and the Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.

KAISA members visited several municipalities in Yolanda disaster-hit provinces of Iloilo, Palawan and Leyte to distribute relief goods as well as tools and construction materials for repairs of houses and school buildings.

It is also during their relief distribution that KAISA made an assessment of the livelihood support they can give to the community. Last March and April, KAISA turned over 100 bancas in the municipality of Ajuy, Iloilo. The “Bangkabuhayan” project is aimed to restore the capability of the affected fishermen to earn a living.
“We want to include another line where you help the fishermen fish and the whole community gets to eat,” Lim said. The group also targeted the fishermen of Aklan and Cebu to avail of Bangkabuhayan with another 100 fishing boats.

KAISA also partnered with Health Futures Foundation, Inc. (HFFI) which is headed by Dr. Jaime Z. Galvez Tan, that chooses the beneficiaries, monitor their activities and provide technical support in installing the motor to the banca and on its maintenance side for the next two years. (VICKY C.ARNAIZ)