Ilocos Norte fisherfolk get P3.7-M fishing gears, paraphernalia

LAOAG CITY —The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region I distributed various fishing gears and paraphernalia and motorized bancas to 197 registered fisherfolk and 20 fisherfolk associations in the coastal city and towns of Ilocos Norte on Wednesday.

For the first time, the 63 members of the Farmers and Fishermen Association of Puyupuyan in Pasuquin town received a fiber glass payao, a fish aggregating device to attract fish like tuna and tuna-like species, worth PHP143,000.

According to Ronald Peralta, 47, Puyupuyan village chief and incumbent vice president of the association, the government’s distribution of various fishing gears and paraphernalia and motorized banca is timely following the onslaught of “habagat,” which affected mostly farmers and fishers of the province.

“We are thankful for the government support. This is a big help for us to boost our livelihood,” said Peralta.

Under the Duterte administration, Provincial Board Member Domingo Ambrocio, chair of the committee on agriculture ,said this was the third time that the national government, through the BFAR Regional Office I, distributed multi-million fishery aid to Ilocos Norte fisherfolk.

“It is only now that we can feel government presence in the province. Let us continue to support each other for a better and progressive province,” said Ambrocio.

While habagat has brought so much damage in the province, Vice Governor Eugenio Angelo Marcos Barba encouraged recipients to take good care of the fishing gears to sustain their livelihood.

“We are here to serve you and we hope you will continue to inspire more fishers to improve and sustain their livelihood,” Barba told farmers during the distribution of 20 units payao, 75 units of tuna handlines, 50 units of multiple handlines, 37 units of bottom set longline, 10 units life vest and six units of motorized banca.

These were distributed to the fisherfolk associations of Pagudpud, Bacarra, Pasuquin, Burgos, Bangui, Paoay, Currimao, Badoc, and Laoag.

Regional Director Lilibeth Signey of the BFAR Region 1 urged fishers to make use of a more resilient fiber glass boat rather than those made of wood. She likewise reminded fishermen to always use life vest when they go out fishing for their safety.