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Antique Fisherfolk Receives Additional Livelihood

July 29, 2020

Fisherfolk of Antique received today various fishery projects from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Provincial Office through the initiative of Deputy Speaker and Representative of the Lone District of Antique Loren Legarda.

Legarda supported eight (8) priority fishery projects identified by BFAR in 2017, which includes post harvest kits, fish clads, fish cart, fish preservation technologies, input assistance to seaweed growers, payaw, tilapia culture, and catfish culture. During her stint in the Senate as the Chair of the Committee on Finance, Legarda allocated Php 9.2 million in the General Appropriations Act of 2018 to support the projects.

“Being a province with rich marine resources and with majority of the residents being dependent on the sea for their livelihood, we have to sustain progress in the fisheries sector and ensure that there is enough support to address the needs and concerns of our fisherfolks,” Legarda said.

In a turn over ceremony conducted in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique today, a total of 100 beneficiaries from the municipalities of Sebaste, Tibiao, Pandan, San Jose and Sibalom received post harvest equipment; five (5) beneficiaries from the municipalities of Tibaio, Pandan, San Jose, and Barbaza received fish carts; five (5) recipients of catfish culture are from the municipalities of San Remigio, San Jose, Sibalom, and Barbaza; and two (2) associations, the Belison Integrated Fisherfolks Association (BIFA)
and the Samahang Mangigisda sa Brgy. 3 received payaw or fish aggregating device.

Also through Legarda’s initiative, BFAR allocated funds in 2018 which were used for the production of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boats, handliner boats, fishing gears, and other fishing paraphernalia for Antiqueños. As of date, the construction of a total of 200 units of 20-footer FRP boats has been completed, but awaiting underwater fittings and installation of marine engine. Once completed, these will be turned over to recipients from coastal municipalities. On the other hand, seven (7) 38-footer handliner boats to be used for patrolling are being constructed and will soon be turned over to beneficiaries, including the Fishery Law Enforcement of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) and of BFAR. Another set of 175 ‘bandung’ boats with accessories are being constructed in the island municipality of Caluya to be used for seaweed farming of residents.

Legarda said that she is hopeful that the improvement of resource management and equitable distribution of programs will help in increasing fish production and will aid in improving the living conditions of the fisherfolks and the rest of the Antiqueños.

“Our fisherfolks provide food on our table, yet they remain among the poorest in our communities. We hope that through adequate budget provisions and programs, we give importance to their role in our fight against poverty, in ensuring food security and over-all economic development. As Antique’s Representative. I will make sure that the needs of my kasimanwa will always come first and I will do everything in my capacity to meet them,” Legarda concluded.#