DA gives assistance to 22 rescued Mindoro fishermen
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has committed to extend assistance to the fishermen victims of the sunken fishing boat at the Recto Bank after reportedly being hit and abandoned by a Chinese vessel.
Fishing vessel F/B Gem-Ver 1 recently suffered major damage causing it to submerged in the waters leaving all 22 fisherfolks floating in the middle of the sea for about six hours before being rescued.
The Department of Agriculture (DA), through Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), is now set to release P25,000 for each of the 22 fishermen under the Survival Response (SURE) Loan Program to help them recover from their losses after the unfortunate incident.
The loan assistance is payable in three years with no collateral and no interest.
Earlier, the DA, through Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), also committed to grant the fishermen 30-footer fiberglass boat with complete accessories, including engine and nets.
Piñol said 11 boats will be given, each will be shared by two fishermen, so they could have another source of additional income while the F/B Gem-Ver 1 is being repaired.
In addition, each of the 22 fishermen also received one sack of rice from the DA.
Reportedly, the Recto Bank incident caused the fishermen and the boat owners over P2 million worth of damages. It included about 3 tons of fish with estimated worth of P1 million; P500,000 in capital; and P700,000 for the fishing boat.