PRDP-Bicol turns over two motorized boats to Sorsogon fisherfolk

GUBAT, SORSOGON – For seven years, acquiring at least one motorized boat seems like an elusive goal for Carayat Seaweed Farmers’ Association chairperson Candelaria Esplana.

“Dati nangangarap lang kami na magkaroon (ng motorized bangka) kaya lang when at paano ba?” (We used to dream of having our own motorized boat but we have no idea as to when or how), she shared.

Similarly, Yolanda de Leon, chairperson of the Rural Improvement Club (RIC) of Bagacay, thought that having a motorized boat was necessary in hauling harvested seaweeds now that her organization has increased its production. Since the Project turned over 10 non-motorized fiberglass boats over a year ago, the RIC was able to practice deep sea seaweed farming which doubled their production.

“Kasi yung bangkang maliliit, kapag maramihan na hindi na puwede kasi lulubog yun. Mahirap yung walang bangkang de-motor kasi maalon minsan nalubog ang bangkang de-sagwan (Small boats are unsuitable for large scale harvesting because they capsize. Without a motorized boat, it is difficult because strong waves can topple non-motorized boats),” she said.

She narrated an instance when a non-motorized boat carrying harvested seaweeds sank. Thus, her members had to dive just to gather the scattered seaweeds.

On July 19, 2018, the two women proponent group leaders were all smiles as they received one motorized boat each from PRDP’s Enterprise Development (I-REAP) component. The P58,000-worth motorized fiberglass boats were intended as equipment for monitoring as part of PRDP’s interventions to the proponent groups. Those were in addition to the non-motorized fiberglass boats, seaweed propagules, polyethylene ropes, monofilament, plastic straw, plastic bottle, sandbag and other production supplies delivered by PRDP to farmers and fisherfolk-beneficiaries in areas affected by typhoon Nona on December 2015.

Aside from project monitoring and hauling harvested seaweeds, the PGs can also use the motorized boats for fishing during off season. This will generate additional income for the associations and their members. Carayat Seaweed Farmers’ Association has 29 members while RIC Bagacay has 38.

Nagpapasalamat ako sa PRDP na nabigyan kami ng panghanap-buhay na ganito. Malaking tulong ito para sa maramihan na pag-harvest (I am very thankful to PRDP for giving us this livelihood opportunity. It’s a big help for our large scale harvest),” de Leon added. (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V)