CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – A total of 720 fishermen from 13 municipalities of Zambales province have received fuel discount cards as part of the government’s continuing efforts to mitigate the impact of rising oil prices on the local fishing industry.
This brought to 3,200 thefuel discount cards distributed in Zambales since the program was launched at the Subic fish port last March.
Zambales provincial fisheries officer Neil Encinares said on Friday the total recipients represent 95 percent of the 3,352 target fishermen in the province.
Each fisherfolk beneficiary received PHP3,000 on Thursday in the form of fuel discount cards which they could use to purchase fuel for their fishing operations.
Encinares attributed the success of the fuel subsidy program in Zambales to local government officials who have been supporting the conduct of the distribution activities.
Wilfredo Cruz, regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Luzon (BFAR-3), said their agency is working non-stop to reach the targeted 6,702 fishers in the entire region.
To avail of the fuel subsidy, eligible fisherfolk and/or members of fisherfolk cooperatives and associations must be registered under the fisherfolk registration program or FishR.
They must be using motorized boats with a capacity of three gross tons or below and registered under the boat registration program or BoatR and must be using environment-friendly fishing gears.
Aside from fuel discount cards, the BFAR-3 also distributed some PHP1.8 million worth of livelihood gears to fisherfolk in Zambales.
Cruz said the livelihood support is a form of recognition of the local fisher’s effort in tending to the province’s fishing industry which greatly contributes to national food security.
Citing the 2021 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, the BFAR-3 said that more than 25 percent or 36,557.7 metric tons of the region’s fish commodities came from Zambales. (PNA)