September 30, 2023

Replacing the traditional bamboo rockets and wooden boats used in fishing, fisherfolk in Abra, Apayao, and Benguet received fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boats as part of the BFAR’s F/B Pagbabago Livelihood Development Program.

Each fishing boat has two beneficiaries to promote shared ownership and responsibilities to ensure the upkeep and maintenance of the boat, Regional Director Lilibeth L. Signey said.

According to Delfin Oscar Alagao, a recipient from Tayum, Abra, their plan for the FRP boat is to share it to the whole barangay of Deet.

He said use of the boat will not be limited to the recipients but will include others who wish to use it for fishing.

Abra and Apayao received five units each of 20-footer FRP boats and two units of gill nets while Benguet has five units 23-footer motorized FRP boats (7.5 horsepower motor engine) and two units gill nets.

FRP boats are disaster-resilient and could last a lifetime with proper care and maintenance unlike bamboo rockets or wooden boats that only last for three to six years. Fabrication of fishing boats were done by the beneficiaries themselves through the “Bangka ko, gawa ko” scheme. In return, beneficiaries shall submit catch record to BFAR each time the boat is used for fishing.

“Fishing is our main source of livelihood that is why we are thankful for the boat that was given. Sometimes we go fishing in a group of 20 to maximize time especially when it is really a season for fishing because we can catch as many as 40 kilograms from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” said Roberto Banggawan, a recipient from      Barangay Ninoy Aquino, Calanasan.

In the Cordillera, a total of 315 units FRP boats were already distributed since 2017. – Rodelyn de Vera