THE fisherfolks in Central Visayas were urged to register themselves in the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7 so they can avail themselves of post-disaster livelihood projects and insurance.
The BFAR 7 reiterated this advisory as the state weather bureau raises the alert on possible occurrence by yearend of La Niña, a phenomenon that brings excessive rains that cause flooding and unstable sea conditions.
BFAR 7 Director Allan Poquita said the fisherfolks must be proactive to avoid damages and losses in the event of weather disturbances.
“It would be a risk to experience such, especially at a time of a pandemic. As early as now, it is better if they will register themselves,” he said in a statement posted on BFAR 7 Facebook page.
In case a natural disaster causes devastation to fishing communities, registered fisherfolks will be prioritized in the provision of relief or livelihood assistance. They can also avail themselves of the insurance program of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC).
As of 10 a.m., Oct. 2, 2020, the number of registered fisherfolks in Central Visayas had reached 153,009—Cebu had 70,886; Bohol, 59,013; Negros Oriental, 19,458; and Siquijor, 3,652.
The other aim of the bureau is to create an official list of fisherfolks in Central Visayas to prevent people from taking advantage of the opportunities for legitimate recipients.
The bureau urged fisherfolks to register by visiting their respective City or Municipal Agriculture Office of the local government unit or the Provincial Fishery Offices of BFAR so that they can be listed under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture.
They are also urged to register their fishing gear and boats at the same time.
Fisherfolks have to be prepared for any eventuality to keep their livelihood safe from the impacts of natural disasters.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced that a La Niña phenomenon is most likely to occur by the last quarter of 2020. La Niña is a coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomenon that is the colder counterpart of El Niño, as part of the broader El Niño–Southern Oscillation climate pattern (Wikipedia).
Based on Pagasa records, tropical cyclones often cross Visayas and Mindanao during the November-December period.
Typhoon Ursula brought havoc to northern Cebu in December last year. It damaged a BFAR facility stationed in Medellin town, destroyed hundreds of fishing boats and affected hundreds of fishermen. The damage was pegged at nearly P15 million.