Fishermen in Misamis Oriental get new boats, trucks through gov’t loan
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said a fishermen’s group from the town of Salay, Misamis Oriental will soon have their own 20-ton fishing boat, an ice-making facility and a refrigerated van following a “fishing expedition” to Metro Manila.
Led by their mayor, Angelo Capistrano, Jr., the fishermen who are all leaders of nine associations of small fisherfolk, visited the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture last week bringing with them a signed petition asking for financial support from the Department of Agriculture.
The fishermen said they set up three “Payaos” or Fish Aggregating Device beyond the 15-kilometer limit which are teeming with fish but since they do not have a fishing boat to sail up to that distance, they had to agree to a sharing arrangement with commercial fishing boats which get five “baneras” of fish out of every seven that they harvest from the “payaos.”
In spite of the lopsided sharing arrangement, the fishermen said they were able to save P1.7 million since the time they set up the “Payaos.”
Now, the fishermen said they need P6 million to buy a 20-gross tonnage fishing boat which would allow them to catch the fish in their “Payaos” without sharing it with commercial fishermen.
“After listening to their plight, I asked them if they would be willing to apply for a loan under the Agriculture and Fisheries Machinery and Equipment (AFME) Loaning Program of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), the credit agency of the Department of Agriculture,” Piñol said.
Under the AFME Loaning Program, farmers and fishermen’s groups could avail of loans which will be released through a conduit bank to buy machinery and equipment that they need to increase their productivity.
It is offered at 2 percent interest per year (the DA subsidizes the 4 percent interest) and is payable in 8 years.
“It was a proposal which was immediately embraced by the fishermen from Salay who were overwhelmed when told that the loan package could include an ice-making equipment and a fish truck,” Piñol further said.
All in all, the fishermen applied for a P10-million loan package which they said they could easily repay well ahead of the 8-year maturity period.