DA-BFAR builds 5,000 “Bangkang Pinoy” for Yolanda-affected fisherfolk
QUEZON CITY, June 16 -- The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) has started building 5, 000 units of fiberglass boats called “Bangkang Pinoy” for the local fisherfolk whose units were completely destroyed by typhoon Yolanda.
Building the of fiberglass boats is still part of the agency’s AHON! Rehabilitation Initiative which targets to build more than 30,000 fishing boats for Yolanda-hit municipal fisherfolk in Mimaropa, Central and Eastern Visayas, BFAR said in a statement.
According to BFAR, in seven months since the initiative started, AHON! has already covered 1,098 coastal barangays in 102 municipalities and built 24,109 fishing boats or almost 75% of the initiative’s target
BFAR national director Asis G. Perez said that under the DA-BFAR’s continuous program to rehabilitate the fishery sector, the agency is building more durable boats in consonance with President Benigno Aquino III’s “build back better” rehabilitation approach to all sectors affected by Typhoon Yolanda.
“These fiberglass boats, which we call Bangkang Pinoy, are designed to survive rough seas and keep fishers safely afloat even when unexpected disasters strike at sea,” Perez said.
Last month, 45 of the agency’s personnel from regions 2, 4B, 5, 6, 7 and 8 attended training on fiberglass boat building at the National Marine Fisheries Development Center (NMFDC) in Sangley Point, Cavite. The participants had gone through a series of lectures and actual application of their newfound knowledge on boatbuilding which culminated in the construction of 20-footer and 30-footer prototype fiber glass boats and molds.
Perez said that the trained personnel will be deployed in Eastern Visayas to help in training others, including fisherfolk who are willing to learn the technique in constructing fiber glass boats. “Our aim is to pass the boatbuilding technology down to the fisherfolk in order to give them the option as well as the ability to build better fishing boats for themselves,” Perez explained.
Aside from the technology, DA-BFAR will also provide the materials, fishing gears and motor engines for the 5,000 fisherfolk beneficiaries of the said fiberglass boats. (BFAR)