Tue, 25 Jan 2022

ILOILO CITY - The fishery sector in Western Visayas has incurred around PHP782 million worth of damage and losses due to Typhoon Odette affecting 6,745 fisherfolks in the region.

"The effect of 'Odette' is on aquaculture, especially in Negros and Guimaras and other small scale commercial and municipal fisherfolks," Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director for Western Visayas Remia Aparri said in an interview Friday.

The Fisheries Damage and Loss Assessment Report of BFAR as of Jan. 10 showed that Negros Occidental has incurred the highest damage at PHP467.72 million followed by Guimaras with PHP167. 37 million, Iloilo has PHP80.34 million, Antique with PHP61.99 million, and Capiz with PHP4.84 million.

Aparri said they have submitted their rehabilitation plan costing around PHP104 million for 3,578 affected fisherfolks funded under the quick response fund (QRF) and PHP5.22 million for 425 recipients to be sourced from the 2022 General Appropriations Act (GAA).

"We could not give everything to them. We only identified interventions that are within our net expenditure program. At least it is realistic that we can provide because it is within the budget of BFAR," she said.

Among the interventions are the provision of farm implements for seaweed farmers, fingerlings for tilapia and milkfish farms, shellfish bamboo rafts for shellfish farms, and provision and repair of damaged fishing boats.

As per their validation, 850 fisherfolks reported about their wrecked fishing boats and engines, and 650 with partially destroyed boats needing materials for repair.

Some 900 others will also be provided with fishing gear.

"We are targeting to implement this first quarter out of our regional budget because of the instruction that we will be using whatever savings we have in 2021 and whatever funds that we can use in 2022. Not all that is reflected in the rehab plan will be provided but we will have an initial assistance this first or latest second quarter," Aparri added.

Several rehabilitation proposals were also submitted to the Department of Agriculture for possible funding assistance.

Before the rehabilitation plan, BFAR has also provided PHP700,000 worth of relief assistance and extended 98 sacks of rice to affected fisherfolks in Central Visayas. (PNA)

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