BOHOL – Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Wednesday (Dec. 29) sought the help of fiberglass manufacturers in the country to help thousands of fisherfolk whose boats have been destroyed by Typhoon Odette.
“Nananawagan po ako sa mga lider ng fiberglass manufacturing industry sa ating bansa na tulungan sanang makabangon muli ang mga mangingisda na nawalan nang kabuhayan dulot ng Typhoon Odette,” Pangilinan said.
“Nangangailangan sila ng bagong banka dahil inanod o sinira nang Typhoon Odette ang mga luma nilang bangka. Napakalaking bagay sa mga mangingisda kung mapapalitan ang nasira nilang bangka sa loob ng madaling panahon,” Pangilinan said.
“Millions of pesos worth of motorized bancas, pump boats, and fishing gear have been wiped out in the fury of Typhoon Odette,” he said.
“We need to replace soonest the fishing boats of affected fisherfolk in order to restore their sources livelihood,” Pangilinan said.
“Fiberglass is a great replacement to wooden bancas. Trees must be cut to make new wooden boats. Cutting trees will further deplete our forest cover. And this is not environmental-friendly,” Pangilinan said.
“Cutting thousands of trees to make wooden bancas would lead to soil erosion, which would in turn cause flooding and a host of environmental challenges” Pangilinan said.
On Dec. 29, Pangilinan flew to Bohol to distribute relief package to displace residents and to assess the extent of damage to the province.
Pangilinan went to Leyte and Surigao for relief missions on Dec. 21. He was joined by his wife Sharon Cuneta-Pangilinan in Cebu to distribute relief packs on Dec. 23.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has estimated damage to agricultural and fisheries sector due to Typhoon Odette to be at least P6 billion, according to the initial assessment reports. DA said it is still validating the figures and reports.
Typhoon Odette left in its path destructions in the regions of Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Central Mindanao, and the Caraga Administrative Region.
DA has also estimated the number of affected farmers and fisherfolk at 68,991, with the volume of production losses pegged at 118,426 metric tons in 288,677 hectares of agricultural areas.
Affected commodities include rice, corn, high value crops, coconut, livestock, and fisheries. Agricultural infrastructures, machineries, and equipment have also been damaged.