CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga - Another group of fisherfolk in Central Luzon has benefited from the government's fuel subsidy program that aims to ease the impact of rising oil prices on the local fishing industry.
Wilfredo Cruz, director of the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) 3 (Central Luzon), said Friday 100 fisherfolk from the coastal municipalities of Bataan and 60 others in this province each received PHP3,000 worth of fuel discount cards this week, which they can use to purchase gasoline for their fishing operations.
Cruz described the distribution of the fuel discount cards to fishermen as very timely.
"Malaking maitutulong nito sa ating mga mangingisda dahil worth PHP3,000 discount ito. So, kapag sila ay papalaot, malaking bagay ito para sa kanila lalo na ngayong mahal ang diesel at gasoline (This PHP3,000 discount is a big help to our fisherfolk when they go fishing, especially now that diesel and gasoline prices are high)," he said in an interview.
Fuel discount card recipient, Maria Sibug, a fisher from Orani, Bataan thanked the DA, saying this would help them cope with their fishing expenses.
"Para sa katulad namin na maliit na mangingisda, malaking tulong po ito. Kapag may discount mas kaunti ang magagastos namin kapag magpapalaot (For small fisherfolk like us, this is a big help. The fuel discount would reduce our expenses when we go out to sea)," Sibug said.
Cruz said to avail of the discount, fishers only need to visit the government's partner-gasoline stations and present their discount cards, which can already be used 24 hours upon receipt.
He said the beneficiaries are those who registered under the FishR program. They must be using motorized boats weighing three gross tons or less, registered under BoatR.
The first batch of beneficiaries, consisting of about 200 fishermen, received the fuel discount card during the launch of the program in Subic, Zambales in March.
The program aims to benefit about 6,000 fisherfolk in Central Luzon. (PNA)