DAGUPAN CITY – The city’s fisherfolk will now be able to start anew with the assistance coming from national government agencies such as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

More than P1.2M worth of materials for the construction of fish cages given by DOLE and the city government were turned over to 51 fisherfolk from barangays Lucao (Sitio Tucoc), Carael (Sitio Talaib) and Calmay (Sitio Talaib) during a brief ceremony on October 10.

City Agriculturist Emma Molina said the city government asked DOLE to help those greatly affected during the massive demolition of illegal structures in the river last August.

Through the city government’s initiative, DOLE’s livelihood assistance will now be able to give opportunity to those who previously had illegal structures but have now availed of licenses and permits that will authorize them to operate legally in the river.

The beneficiaries are also set to receive sets of bamboos in addition to the nets, ropes and other materials given during the ceremony.

Molina said that the City Agriculture Office is working for another project assistance proposal for 200 beneficiaries.

In the same occasion, some 682 life vests were turned over by the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) to passenger boat operators from Pugaro, Lomboy and Salapingao who ferry passengers from their respective barangays to the city’s main thoroughfare.

This is to ensure the safety of both operator and passengers during their regular operations.

At the same time, BFAR also donated some 677 packs of relief goods for fisherfolk in ten barangays registered under the city’s Aquaculture Lease Agreement (ALA), who were also directly affected from the recent onslaught of Typhoon “Ompong”.

These were personally distributed to the beneficiaries by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez and Vice President of the Liga ng mga Barangay Marcelino D. Fernandez.

The assistance was in recognition to the efforts of fisherfolk who have gone out of their way to have their operations authorized by availing of business permits and license plates during mobile registrations conducted by the City Agriculture Office (CAO) and One-Stop Business Center (OSBC) in their respective barangays.

To date, the city currently has 548 authorized fishing structures in the river, with another 80 set to receive their business plates for installation. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)