In a move to strengthen the fisheries industry in areas affected by the West Philippine Sea (WPS) dispute, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), under the Department of Agriculture (DA), has allocated P80 million of funds to support the livelihoods of fisherfolk there and neighboring regions.
Spokesperson and head of BFAR’s Information and Fisherfolk Coordination Unit, Nazario Briguera, announced the Livelihood Activities to Enhance Fishery Yield and Economic Gains (LAYAG) in the WPS project, which aims to enhance local fisheries production.
“We are allocating close to P80 million for 2023 to implement this project in the West Philippine Sea. As part of this initiative, we will provide various livelihood support to fishermen in the provinces facing the West Philippine Sea along the coast,” Briguera said in a press briefing.
On June 12, the DA distributed boats, fishing gear, seaweed propagation equipment, and fisheries post-harvest tools to 80 beneficiaries on the island.
This event took place during the BRP Francisco Dagohoy’s journey to Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea, following the President’s directive to bring government services closer to fishermen in remote areas.
“Our objective is to comply with the President’s directive of making government services accessible even in remote areas, particularly in the fishing sector. This project reinforces that commitment,”Briguera added,
The LAYAG project includes fuel subsidies for municipal and commercial fishing boats. In addition to Kalayaan Island, the project encompasses regions such as Central Luzon, the Ilocos region, and MIMAROPA.