DAGUPAN CITY –Before the holiday season ended, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez awarded cash assistance to at least 40 small fisher folks from Barangay Calmay to be used by them in buying materials for their own “balsa” (bamboo raft).

In a ceremony held Jan. 4 at the city museum, the mayor handed P1,500 as initial financial assistance to each recipient. The amount will be used by them in purchasing materials that they need in making their own “balsa”.

Calmay Punong Barangay Evangelita dela Cruz personally requested the financial assistance to help her constituents earn a living. After buying the materials, the recipients will simultaneously assemble their own “balsas” on January 16 at the covered court of Barangay Calmay.

“They will all present their assembled “balsas” to Mayor Fernandez on January 23 at the boat terminal in front of the National Bureau of Investigation office,” said dela Cruz.

Once their “balsas” are completed, the recipients will receive another P1,500 from the city.

Fernandez explained that the recipients were asked to make their own “balsa” for them to consider this as their personal property and would exert efforts in taking good care of it.

“We asked them to make the “balsa” by themselves, so they will a have a sense of ownership and in order to make the ‘balsa’ last longer through proper care,” said Fernandez. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/January 4, 2017)