Boats For Busuanga: A Life Boat for Typhoon Yolanda Victims

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BUSUANGA, Palawan – The trial shipment of six donated fiberglass boats arrived in Coron Town last Monday, 17 February 2014 for the Bangka ng Buhay / Boats for Busuanga (BnB) Project. The BnB Project is a rehabilitation initiative for Busuanga fisherfolk who lost their boats during Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) and aims to integrate disaster rehabilitation concerns with a sustainable livelihood component, as a means to encourage sustainable fishing methods throughout the Municipality. The project is comprised of the donation of small fishing boats to fisherfolk in exchange for their commitment to abide by fishing laws, helping monitor compliance to fishing laws, reporting fishing and other environmental violations, and participating in local conservation initiatives such as the dugong monitoring system.

This project was initiated by Dr. Antonio L. Dans of the Philippine General Hospital and Mr. Frederick C. Lopez of Phinma Foundation who spearheaded raising funds for the creation, transport and donation of these boats and delegated the assessment and distribution of the boats to Community Centered Conservation (C3) Philippines. While the boats were initially fabricated by a private entity, they are currently being replicated for mass production by students from the University of the Philippines and FEATI University.

During the trial shipment, the initial six beneficiaries joined the C3 team in picking up the boats from Coron Town to counterpart their manpower in reducing transport costs. Before turn-over of the boats to the beneficiaries, they will be required to: 1) undergo an orientation next week on existing fishing laws and conservation initiatives they are expected to participate in; 2) register their boats, themselves as boat operators and their fishing gear as per local regulations; and 3) sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the local government, C3 Philippines and the donors. Turn-over of the boats is targeted for next week.

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