The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) sent P5 million worth of equipment and capacity-building programs to the fishing community of Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan town, in the West Philippine Sea last Monday, June 12.
The equipment included 10 fiberglass canoe boats, post-harvest containers, and rainwater catchers, as reported by Sangguniang Bayan member Maurice Phillip Albayda to Palawan News.
In addition to the equipment, BFAR will conduct a series of trainings on fish handling, manufacturing practices, and sanitation standards.
Dubbed as DA-BFAR Layag-Kabuhayan sa Pag-asa Island sa Araw ng Kalayaan, the equipment was sent off by BFAR National Director Demosthenes Escoto from Oyster Bay Naval Station in Barangay Macarascas, Puerto Princesa City, aboard BRP Francisco Dagohoy, a Philippine Coast Guard-manned vessel. It was personally brought by BFAR Provincial Director Mar Basaya to Pag-asa Island.
“This voyage, which aims to provide livelihood support to the residents and fisherfolk of Pag-asa Island, is one of our initiatives in accordance with the order of President Marco to strengthen our support for the fisheries sector, as well as far-flung communities,” Escoto said during the send off ceremony.
He said the program aims to enrich the Pag-asa fisherfolk community with more knowledge and skills to increase their production.
Escoto expressed his hope that through this initiative, the fisherfolk of Pag-asa would be further equipped with the necessary tools and skills to improve their catch and achieve a better quality of life.