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Administration standard-bearer Manuel A. Roxas II has presented his three-point platform to help small fishermen whose livelihood has been continuously threatened with large fishing companies.
First, Roxas said, he would push for the reduction of loans for the fishermen to the lowest possible interest rate in order to ensure that they will not be saddled with debt and eventually bring more money to their families.
“Most of their earnings are being spent to pay the interest and amortization of their loans. They have not yet sailed, yet, the fish that they would be caught will be used to pay their debts,” said Roxas. “So I believe that low-interest loan would be of big help to improve their lives,” he added.
Second, Roxas said he will push for the procurement of more Global Positioning Satellite technology to increase the fishermen’s catch.
“Through this GPS, they will be able to easily locate the school of fish, which means, they will save more on gasoline and time in their fishing activities,” said Roxas.
Such project, he said, is definitely not a promise since this was already initiated in Dagupan City in Pangasinan through the Bottom-up Budgeting program.
Third, Roxas said, is the construction of post-catch facilities like chillers and refrigerated vans, which would maintain the freshness of fishermen’s catch.
This, he said, would be complemented by the implementation of more infrastructure projects so fishermen would be able to bring their harvest to markets.
“This is all part of the “Daang Matuwid Bukid Revolution,” which will maximize the potential of the Philippines’ agriculture and fisheries sectors to achieve maximum inclusive growth,” said Roxas.
Roxas’ platform for the fishermen is almost identical with his plans for the farmers – low interest rate, construction of more farm-to-market roads, and construction of more post-harvest facilities.
He said both his plan for fishermen and farmers are anchored on his BUB program which would set aside P100 billion every year for the people to identify the projects and programs that they want to be implemented in their communities.