Sorsogon Province (31 July) — Sorsogon City and Magallanes town have received a total of P3 million financial assistance for fishery livelihood projects for the local fisher folks.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), through its Bicol regional office, awarded the P2 million check to the local government of Sorsogon City to finance the implementation of fishery livelihood projects for fisher folks, especially those directly affected by red tide in Sorsogon Bay.
The amount was turned-over recently to Sorsogon City Mayor Leovic Dioneda in a ceremony witnessed by other city officials, Rep. Salvador Escudero III, BFAR Bicol regional officials, fisher folk-beneficiaries and stakeholders, and the media.
Escudero was instrumental in the release of the funds and facilitated the realization of the livelihood assistance for his constituents in the province’s first congressional district.
Dinoeda stated the city government intends to utilize the financial assistance for seven livelihood projects identified by the guidelines set by BFAR.
“These include sea weed farming, culture of bangus and saline tilapia in fish cages, culture of grouper and other high value species, provision of non-motorized bancas, technical skills development training, self-employment assistance through micro-enterprise and post harvest facility for marine products,” he said.
Nelson Del Socorro, BFAR Bicol regional director, said the financial assistance was extended to the fisher folks to eradicate pervasive poverty among coastal communities, specifically among those directly affected by the recurrence of red tide in Sorsogon Bay.
He noted red tide has been recurring in Sorsogon Bay for the past 3 years, displacing thousands from their means of livelihood and costing millions of pesos loses on the shellfish industry.
Magallanes town meanwhile has received the P1 million check from BFAR Bicol to purchase non-motorized bancas and fishing nets for subsistence fishermen who were greatly affected by calamities that this in the municipality recently.
Melchor Deramas, BFAR Bicol Fisheries Extension and Training Division chief awarded the check to Magallanes Mayor Abelardo Arambulo in the presence of Escudero, municipal and barangay officials, and local fishermen.
BFAR also distributed 300,000 prawn post larvae and 30,000 tilapia fingerlings to fishpond operators in the municipality.
The livelihood fund assistance is in consonance with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s directives to the Department of Agriculture to extend support to the fishery sector and to ensure sufficient and affordable food for everyone. (PIA Bikol)