Now that we have been given a pump boat, the increase in our earnings is really significant

From manually paddling his wooden boats to owning his own 26-footer fiberglass boat, Mr. Leonil Dalumpines, a registered marginalized fisher of Baybay City, Leyte, shares his daily success as he now catches a larger quantity and various species of fish on his fishing trips. ‘Karon nga natagaan mi ug pumpboat, dako-dako na gyud ang na-angat sa among kita,’ he said with satisfaction. Previously earning a maximum of Php9,000 per month, Mr. Dalumpines, along with the members of his association, the Brgy. Palhi Fisherfolks Association, now reaches a maximum earning of Php30,000.

(Now that we have been given a pump boat, the increase in our earnings is really significant.)

“Mr. Dalumpines is among the 200 beneficiaries of the City Government of Baybay’s Fishing Boat Distribution initiative. Notably, LGU Baybay has been independently fabricating boats for its coastal communities since 2021 through the effective adaptation of the Bangka Ko, Gawa Ko project, a component program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ (BFAR) F/B Pagbabago Livelihood and Development Program. With the vision to create a cost-efficient strategy for providing fishing boats to the Baybayanons and addressing the limited supply of wood for traditional boat-making, BFAR 8 and the City Government of Baybay forged efforts to capacitate several municipal fishers of Baybay in fiberglass boat-making through this program.

In 2020, the first 10 fisherfolks of Baybay undergone training to fabricate their fiberglass boats. These trainees then became competent trainers in fiberglass boat-making for the city, leading and teaching other fisherfolks, especially the younger ones, the necessary skills to create durable and suitable fishing boats for the City’s beneficiaries in the fishing boat distribution program. BFAR 8 provided free technical assistance for technology transfer, and LGU Baybay generously addressed other training needs. In fact, the City Government of Baybay has allocated a total of Php15.5M for the fiberglass-making initiative, as disclosed by Mr. Ruben P. Mercado, designated City Fishery Officer of Baybay.

Through this initiative, LGU Baybay fabricated and distributed 50 units of 26-footer fiberglass motorized boats in 2021, and an additional 75 units each in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Moreover, fisherfolk fabricators were given incentives for their labor services in making these fiberglass boats, providing them with another source of ample livelihood support for their respective families.

These durable boats are being fabricated in its own fiberglass boat-making facility situated in Brgy. Candadam, Baybay City which the City of Baybay envisions to become a learning hub for other fisherfolks and individuals who aims to be equipped on fiberglass boat-making skills.

These fiberglass boats are durable, sturdier, disaster-resilient, and climate-proof, making them more dependable for fisherfolks at sea and helping them have better and sufficient earnings on each of their fishing trips. “Di na mi makuyawan kung dagko ang bawod, kay di man sya basta-basta nga mabuslot kay gahi man. Bisan maka-igo mig kahoy ngadto na, kanag gabi-i mi mugikan, di sya mabuslot,” positively shared by Mr. Rodel Arasa, another beneficiary of the City Government of Baybay.

(We no longer feel anxious when the waves are big, as they are not easily penetrable; they are sturdy. Even if it accidentally hits wood during the night, it won’t easily break.)

With nearly 30 coastal barangays with communities dependent on fishing, the city government of Baybay allots significant efforts and budget to its Coastal Resource Management and Fisherfolk Empowerment. Other than effectively adapting the Bangka Ko, Gawa Ko project, Baybay City also distributes fishing gear and accessories to meet the needs of its marginalized fishers. “Yung fisherfolks natin, merong inaabangan every year na mga pumpboats, directly na nakakatulong sa kanila. We distribute fishing accessories, and a larger fund has also been allocated for coastal management, both coastal and upland,” shared by Hon. Jose Carlos L. Cari, City Mayor of Baybay.

(Our fisherfolks are eagerly anticipating pump boats every year, directly benefiting them.)

Other than fiberglass boats, several units of patrol boats have been granted to the Barangay Law Enforcement Teams (BFLETs), empowering the security and enforcement of fishery laws within Baybay’s municipal waters while capacitating these groups to diligently monitor their respective areas. These groups were also trained to repair minor damages on their boats, while major repairs are forwarded to its main Fiberglass Boat-Making Facility.

A total of 20 units of customized freshwater tilapia fiberglass production tanks have also been fabricated and distributed to areas that do not have earthen ponds, to kickstart their urban tilapia farming.

In 2024, LGU Baybay is hopeful to reach more beneficiaries and continue its collaboration with the Office of the 5th District of Leyte Representative, Carl Nicholas C. Cari, and BFAR 8 in implementing various on-the-ground developmental activities for its fisherfolk communities.

Instilling new hope for the ongoing development and empowerment of the inland and upland fishing communities in Baybay, the LGU continues to embody its commitment to uplifting the lives of its constituents. Being a model in the adaptation of various fisheries developmental activities in an urban setting, such as the Bangka Ko, Gawa Ko program, the Bureau in the region continues to be one with the Baybayanons towards a prosperous and sustainably managed fishery resources, enabling its community and its allied agencies to push forth the flag to a Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan at Pamayanan.