PRDP delivers fiberglass boats to calamity-affected fisherfolk in Sorsogon

Colorful pennants and festive music signal that it is no regular day in Sitio Purakay, Brgy. Pamurayan, Sorsogon City on May 15, 2017. Amidst scorching summertime heat, homeowners flock the coasts of Sorsogon Bay as well as evaluate the horizon. After three hrs of breathless waiting, everybody was filled with cheers as 20 red and blue non-motorized fiberglass boats parade the sea.

Among the crowd, two guys relocated better to the seashore, slapping their hands in awe– Roberto Salgado, President of the Samahang Mangingisda ng Tomalaytay (SMT) and Mariano Saldy Jesoro, President of the Samahang Mangingisda ng Gimaloto (SAMAGI). Salgado and Jesoro are the recipients of the fiberglass watercrafts from the Philippine Rural Development Project’s (PRDP’s) microenterprise subprojects for calamity-stricken locations in Bicol.

Twenty PRDP-funded non-motorized fiberglass watercrafts worth P20,500 each were provided to Samahang Mangingisda ng Tomalaytay (SMT) and also the Samahang Mangingisda ng Gimaloto (SAMAGI) in Sitio Purakay, Brgy. Pamurayan, Sorsogon City on May 15, 2017. (Photo by Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit).

During the ceremony on the turn-over of non-motorized fiberglass boats, PRDP South Luzon Project Support Office (PSO) Director Shandy Hubilla introduced that the 20 boats are preliminary deliveries out of the 50 boats that the Project will certainly give to the fisherfolk in Sorsogon. SMT as well as SAMAGI are 2 of the 5 proponent teams venturing in seaweeds manufacturing that will certainly obtain 10 non-motorized fiberglass boats each.

Pagkatapos ng Typhoon Nona, medyo naghirap at bumaba ang income ng mga seaweed farmers at ng mga mangingisda ng aming barangay. Itong project na ito ay talaga namang makakatulong na mai-angat ang kabuhayan ng mga seaweed farmers ng Tomalaytay. Sa pamamagitan nito, maliban sa dati naming mga bangka, meron na kaming additional na sampo na magagamit namin para sa pagpapalawak ng aming mga taniman. Ang mga bangkang ito ay mas matibay kumpara sa aming mga ginagamit at magiging kaagapay ng bawat farmer sa paggabay sa kanilang hanap-buhay sa pang-araw-araw na pangangailangan (After Typhoon Nona, seaweed farmers and the fisherfolk struggled as their income declined. This project will certainly help uplift the quality of lives of seaweed farmers in Tomalaytay. Through this, aside from our old boats, we have additional 10 boats that we can use in expanding our seaweed farm. These boats are more durable compared to the boats that we currently use and will serve as every farmer’s partner in their livelihood),” Salgado said.

Jesoro, on the other hand, recalled how the fisherfolk and the seaweed farmer-members of SAMAGI struggled to plant, maintain, and harvest their seaweeds after Typhoon Nona wrecked their boats.

Naghihirap ’yong mga mangingisda. No’ng wala pa ang PRDP, halos naglalakad lang sila. ’Pag high tide hindi makapaglinis ng maayos sa gulamanan dahil malalim ang tubig. ’Yong ibang mga miyembro umuupa sila nang mahal, halimbawa, P25 ang bangka kada isang araw (The fisherfolk were impoverished. Prior to PRDP’s intervention, they just walk going to their seaweed farms. During high tide, they are constrained from maintaining their seaweed area. Some of our members rent a boat, though it is quite expensive at P25 per boat per day),” he said.

With the 10 non-motorized fiberglass boats, Jesoro saw a glimmer of hope for the fisherfolk members of SAMAGI.

Sa ngayon, mas lalong mapapaganda namin ang tubo ng seaweeds dahil meron na kaming mga bangka na maaari naming gamitin anumang oras (Now, we can enhance the quality of the seaweed’s growth, because of these boats that we can use anytime),” Jesoro added.

SMT President Roberto Salgado (seated, 2nd from left) and SAMAGI President Mariano Saldy Jesoro (seated, 3rd from left) pose with Sorsogon Governor Robert Lee Rodrigueza (standing, 5th from left), PRDP South Luzon PSO Director Shandy Hubilla (standing, 2nd from right), Bicol RPCO Deputy Project Director Adelina Losa (standing, 1st from right) and the PPMIU-Sorsogon team during the Ceremony on the Turn-Over of Fiberglass Non-motorized Boats held in Sitio Purakay, Brgy. Pamurayan, Sorsogon City on May 15, 2017. (Photo by Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)

About 74 members of SAMAGI and 71 members of SMT will benefit from the non-motorized boats, which they can use in carrying planting materials as well as in the daily maintenance and monitoring of their seaweed culture. PRDP will also provide one motorized fiberglass boat to each proponent group for the delivery of raw dried seaweeds to the target markets.

SAMAGI projects an increase of P4,821.22 average income in four cropping of seaweeds from its previous average on-farm and off-farm income prior to Typhoon Nona worth P1,600. On the other hand, SMT is eyeing an increase of P4,842.49 or equivalent to 223 percent raise from their previous monthly income amounting to P1,500.

PRDP South Luzon PSO Director Shandy Hubilla assures the community that the Project is a strong partner in developing the potential of the province’s agri-fishery sector during the Turn-Over Ceremony. (Photo by Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)

Governor Robert Lee Rodrigueza of Sorsogon expressed his gratitude to the Department of Agriculture and the PRDP for the support extended to the province. He reiterated the Sorsogon government’s thrust to develop the agri-fishery sector as he observed that many farmers and fisherfolk in the province belong to the poor and vulnerable sector. He also discussed Sorsogon’s potentials in pili, abaca, and silkworm production and called for unity in promoting sustainable development and environment conservation among the stakeholders.

Sorsogon was hardly hit by Typhoon Nona in December 2015 which devastated about P2 million-worth of vegetables and root crops and damaged houses and boats in communities located near the coastal zones. PRDP has approved 10 microenterprise subprojects with a total amount of P10.74 million for calamity stricken areas in the province to help affected communities recoup from their losses and eventually, increase their income.

PRDP is a six-year World Bank-assisted project designed to establish a modern, inclusive, value chain-oriented and climate-resilient agri-fishery sector in the countryside. ### (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-PRDP RPCO V InfoACE Unit)

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