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P5M worth of small BFAR boats still has no takers in Antique

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SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique — One hundred fishing boats from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) as assistance to the livelihood of marginalized fisherfolk in Antique are still to be claimed by recipients.

Alletth Gayatin, Office of Provincial Agriculture (OPA) Senior Aquaculturist, said in an interview Monday that the majority of the remaining boats are intended for fisherfolk in the island municipalities of Caluya, Tibiao, and Culasi.

The boats are still at the provincial government property in Barangay Badiang, in this capital town.

“Around 60 units of the boats are really for Caluya while the others are for Tibiao and Culasi,” she said.

Together with BFAR, she said they had been calling for the local government units (LGUs) to assists the fisherfolk in the transportation of the fishing boats since June.

“As for Caluya, the LGU has already communicated to help transport the boats and so we expect it to be anytime now,” she said.

The provision of the fishing boats is part of BFAR’s FB Pagbabago program, a livelihood intervention for Filipino fisherfolk.

Each boat is worth P50,000 to P55,000 and has two beneficiaries as co owners.

On top of these units, Gayatin said that an additional 311 fishing boats are currently being built for Antique fishermen.

“The additional boats are the commitment of then-Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol to the fisherfolk when he last visited Culasi,” Gayatin said.

Piñol vowed to provide 750 fiberglass boats to a different set of marginalized fisherfolk. Of the commitment, 439 boats had already been distributed. (PNA)