DAVAO CITY (August 17, 2016) — Hundreds of Davao fishermen and farmers now have a crack at a better future after receiving various equipment from the Department of Agriculture (DA) today.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol led the distribution of 300 fiberglass motorized boats as well as fishing gear to fisherfolk from 23 coastal villages of the city this morning.
The fishing boats and fishing gear cost over P21 million in all. Each of the 300 boats will be shared by two families. Of the 600 families, 120 are Badjao.
The DA also distributed post-harvest facilities and high-value crop seedlings to 20 farming communities in Davao City.
Mayor Sara Duterte, through City Agriculture Office chief Leo Bryan Leuterio, thanked the DA for its assistance.
In her message, the mayor said the turnover is timely as Dabawenyos celebrate the 31st Kadayawan sa Dabaw, an annual festival showcasing the abundance enjoyed by the city.
“These fiberglass boats, fishing gear, post-harvest equipment, and fishing stalls will give our fisherfolk and fisherfolk associations the opportunity to improve their catch so that they may bring in more harvest to improve their way of life and enhance the agri-fisheries of the city,” she said.
For his part, Piñol said the 300 fishing boats are part of the 200,000 vessels that will be distributed in the entire country,
He said today’s turnover was the first wave of distribution aimed at alleviating the economic conditions of the 600 beneficiaries.
Among the beneficiaries is John Elerios who expressed gratitude for the intervention of the city and the DA to help the way of living of the Badjao tribe.
Elerios said they are all looking forward to helping tribe members send their kids to school and give them a better future.
Aside from the boats, all beneficiaries will receive P3,000 monthly cash assistance for three months for being bantay-dagat (sea guards).
As bantay-dagat, the fishermen are tasked to maintain the cleanliness of the sea and ensure that there won’t be illegal fishing activities. (Davao City Information Office)