DA urged to mobilize calamity funds, compensate typhoon-hit fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – Tens of thousands of fishing and coastal families across the Bicol region have been affected by the successive typhoons and are needing livelihood support and relief aid, according to the national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA).
The Lakas ng Maliliit na Mangingisda ng Bicol (LAMBAT-Bicol), PAMALAKAYA’s regional chapter, reported the damage to coastal areas brought about by the successive typhoons which started from typhoons Quinta (Molave) to Ulysses (Vamco).
Coastal municipalities situated along the Ragay Gulf were heavily damaged by the recent Typhoon Ulysses, according to LAMBAT-Bicol. Among the areas devastated by the typhoon were coastal towns in Camarines Sur including Pasacao, Balatan, Ragay, and Bula, and coastal towns in Albay such as Libon and Pio Duran. Almost 80% of the region’s coastal families have been displaced and lost their homes. The estimated cost of damage in Bicol region is around P26.6 million as per the government data.
“These are not just figures in reports; these are families, our food security front liners, and our fellow Filipinos. Strong typhoons after another struck and devastated coastal communities in the region, home to tens of thousands of fisherfolk. Considered as among the poorest sector in the country, these fishers lost almost everything they had. Although massive relief efforts helped these families to survive, they need long-term aid in a form of livelihood support to help them get back on their feet and resume their journey to fish,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
Hicap, who hails from Castilla town in Sorsogon, urged DA and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to mobilize calamity funds to rehabilitate the damaged agriculture and fisheries, and subsidize and compensate the affected farmers and fishers.
“We are demanding the DA to immediately and unconditionally provide livelihood support to the typhoon-hit fishing and farming communities,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list Representative added.
“The DA should compensate the loss of potential income of our farmers and fisherfolk. Granting our food security front liners livelihood support will give them opportunity to rebuild their lives and continue the wheels of production,” ended Hicap. ###