Over 1,400 kilograms of free fish were distributed to more than 600 poor families including the indigenous peoples (IPs) affected by the community quarantine measures in Cebu province, the Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Region 7 said on Wednesday.
Alma Saavedra, BFAR-7 information officer, said the series of distributions conducted over a one-month period starting on April 27, were an initiative of their agency, with help from the Bisayas Alliance of Fishing Operators for Reform (BAFOR) and the Toledo City Fisherfolk Workers’ Association (TCFWA), in coordination with the Cebu Provincial Fishery Office (PFO).
Seven distribution activities were conducted “to ensure food availability in poor communities”, especially in Barangays Alaska and Mambaling here where the Badjao IPs live, she said.
“This series of relief distributions make the observance of the Farmers and Fisherfolk’s Month this May more meaningful as the fishery sector proved that they contribute greatly in ensuring the country’s food security amid the crisis,” Saavedra said in a statement.
When the project started last month, she said BAFOR donated 100 kilograms of fresh fish products to 76 marginal households in Sitio Dumon in the coastal village of San Roque in this city, apart from the 24 homeless families living in the same area.
Another 104 fire-affected families in Barangay San Roque were benefited with BAFOR’s donated fish.
The TCFWA also donated 250 kilos of fish to 142 marginal households from Sitio Palma of San Roque, as well as to the Sisters of Mary Boystown in Minglanilla town, and the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos here on May 4.
About 300 kilos of TCFWA’s fish catch were distributed on May 12 to at least 257 poor families from three sitios (sub-village) in San Roque and to 43 enforcers and volunteers assigned at checkpoints in the cities of Cebu, Talisay, and Naga.
BAFOR donated 100 kilos of fish on the following day to 30 poor households from the same barangay and to Cebu archdiocese-run charitable institutions like the Gasa sa Gugma and the St. John Paul II Home for Aged Priests.
Saavedra said it was on May 19 that TCFWA provided 200 kilos of assorted fish to two clusters of Badjao communities in Sitio Alaska, a locked down area in Barangay Mambaling due to the many cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
At least 85 kilograms were separately donated to the Cebu City Jail in Barangay Kalunasan where a lot of inmates and jail guards were isolated due to positive Covid-19 test results. The distribution was coursed through Cebu Caritas, Inc. which has an ongoing consolidation of donations for the city inmates.
BFAR-7 personnel also distributed 25 kilos of fish to uniformed front-liners and volunteers in different quarantine control points in the cities of Cebu, Talisay, and Naga and San Fernando towns, also on May 19.
On Tuesday, May 26, the TCFWA gave at least 279 kilos of fresh fish to the Sisters of Mary Girlstown in Talisay City, Sisters of Mary Boystown in Minglanilla, and the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Sitio Alaska, Mambaling village.
The rest of the donated fish were shared with the assigned police officers at checkpoints where the BFAR vehicle passed through on its way here from Toledo City.
Meanwhile, Saavedra said the Regional Fisheries Training and Fisherfolk Coordination Division gave away on May 14 at least 70 food packs to the fisherfolk of the Ati Tribe in Barangay South Poblacion in the city of Naga.
“BFAR in Region 7 would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to the donors that have extended help for the sectors affected by the prevailing health crisis,” she said.
The endeavor, Saavedra said, also manifested the “bayanihan” spirit among local fishing communities especially at a time when the country continues to confront the Covid-19 pandemic. (PNA)
Photo Source: BFAR-7