DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Most of the coastal areas in Davao City are now affected by the continuing onslaught of monsoon winds that bring destructive waves, destroying some of their houses and other properties. The continuing weather condition also prevented fisherfolks from venturing into the Davao Gulf and neighboring areas to fish.
Amidst such desperate conditions, thousands of fisherfolks and their families now appeal from the local and national government institutions for help.
A move was recently instituted the Federation of Fisherfolks Association of Davao City (FFADC), saying that some 8,000 of their members are asking the government for support.
FFADC president Lorenzo Borja said they need the help of the government to recover from the calamities affected their livelihood. He added that his group is composed of 80 member-associations from 24 coastal barangays in the city, including upland agri-fisheries.
“Currently, we have not received any aid from the government yet. They say they are still conducting evaluation but we would like to know: when will the evaluation end? How many days, weeks, or months will it continue?” Borja asked.
“I call on the government and the private sectors to help the directly affected by the onslaught of calamities in these times,” he added.
To find some relief while waiting for government response, most of the 80-member associations of the federation are now engaged in some alternative sources of livelihood such as the “Isda para sa Masa, Presyong Abot Kaya” program where they distribute imported fishes as another source of income.
The program, Borja said, also benefits consumers because it is half the price in the public market because it is “directly imported by the federation” cutting out four to five middleman levels.
“We have nothing to do but to stand for ourselves,” Borja emphasized, as he also clarified that the alternative sources of income cannot sustain and not sufficient given the considerable number of members.
Borja added that they are clinging on to loan programs of the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
“They have given no dole outs but they say their help will be in a form of loan. But in BFAR, the process is taking too long. We have been waiting for three to four months now but there is still no development,” he said.
“We are doing our best to connect to the agencies through attending meetings to follow-up on the programs they have for us. We would like to know if there is truth to such programs and if they are really determined in helping us,” Borja added. (davaotoday.com)