ILOILO – Severe hunger. This is now being experienced by most of the fisherfolks in Northern Iloilo. Since the striking of Typhoon Dante followed by the southwest monsoon that brought strong winds and huge waves, small-scale fisherfolks, who rely primary from fishing, cannot freely go to the sea.
Furthermore, the bad weather condition has also resulted to the destruction of the fish pens, fishnets, and other fishing gears of the fisherfolks.
The town of Barotac Viejo, where majority of the population rely on fishing, is one of the most severely affected by the situation.
To “Tatay Poldo” Balbon, a resident of Barotac Viejo, the major problem that most of them are currently experiencing is hunger brought by the destruction of their fishing gears as well as the lack of capital to repair or rebuild said fishing gears.
Moreover, due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) being implemented in the province, Tatay Poldo and other fisherfolks cannot easily find other alternative sources of income due to mobility restrictions especially to the senior citizens.
Fisherfolks in Barotac Viejo also calls for the local fisheries bureau and agriculture department to investigate the situation of the affected communities.
“They (BFARMC and DA) have been very strict with us in terms of the registration of our fish pens. They said that it will be very helpful especially when our fish pens be destroyed by natural disasters because we can avail and access government’s aid. But since Typhoon Dante last month, we received nothing from them. They did not even bother to visit us and see our situation here,” said Tatay Poldo in Hiligaynon.
Tatay Poldo also appeals for help from the local government and the private sector. “We appeal to the local officials, those in the province, and also to the private sector to help us because we don’t have anything especially now that we are still under the pandemic,” Tatay Poldo added in Hiligaynon.
To those who wish to help the community of fisherfolks in Barotac Viejo, you may message Panay Today’s official Facebook Page, @panaytoday. Fisherfolks’ primary needs include rice and other food items. Fisherfolks also appeal for financial help to repair their destroyed fish pens. /PT