The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Central Visayas has urged fisherfolk in the region to have themselves included in the agency’s fisherfolk registration system.
By doing so, they would be able to avail of post-disaster livelihood projects and insurance programs of BFAR.
BFAR-7 has reiterated this call as the weather bureau raises alert on possible occurrence of La Niña by yearend, a phenomenon which commonly brings excessive rains and causes the development of weather disturbances.
“We have to be proactive to avoid possible damage or loss. It would be a risk to experience such especially at a time of a pandemic. As early as now, it is better if they (fisherfolk) would register themselves,” BFAR-7 regional director Dr. Allan Poquita said in a statement over the weekend.
If in any case a natural disaster would cause devastating damage to fishing communities, those registered fisherfolk will be prioritized in the provision of relief or livelihood assistance, or they can also avail of the insurance program of Philippine Crop Insurance Corp.
As of Oct. 2, the number of registered fisherfolk in Central Visayas reached 153,009: Cebu has 70,886 registered fisherfolk, Bohol has 59,013, Negros Oriental has 19,458, and Siquijor has 3,652.
The bureau also intends to have an official list of fisherfolk in the region to avoid people from taking advantage of the opportunities that are supposed to be granted to well-deserved recipients.
To recall, this situation happened in the post-Yolanda event way back in 2013, where some locals claimed to be fisherfolk so that they can also receive aid from the BFAR.
The bureau continues to encourage fisherfolk to register by visiting their respective city or municipal agriculture office or provincial fishery offices of BFAR so they can be listed under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
They are also urged to register their fishing gears and boats.
Fisherfolk have to be prepared for any eventuality to keep their livelihood safe from the damaging impact of natural disasters.
State weather bureau PAGASA earlier announced that a La Niña phenomenon is most likely to occur by last quarter of 2020.
Based on historical records of PAGASA, tropical cyclones usually cross the Visayas and Mindanao regions during the November-December period.
For instance, Typhoon Ursula which hit December last year brought havoc to northern Cebu, damaging a BFAR facility stationed in Medellin town, destroying hundreds of fishing boats, and affecting hundreds of fishermen. (PNA)