BFAR launches ‘Bantay Laot’ program in Zamboanga
The Department of Agriculture, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), is carrying out the “Bantay Laot” (local guards) program that aims to protect and preserve the marine resources in Zamboanga City.
BFAR OIC-Regional Director Isidro Velayo Jr. tols Sun Star that BFAR P4 million is allocated for the Bantay Laot program which is targeted to be implemented before yearend.
Velayo added that the “Bantay Laot” program is intends to boost livelihood since they will employ 50 selected Badjao fishermen, a group tagged as among the poorest of the poor, as sea watchmen and coastal cleaners.
Php 3,000 monthly honorarium will be provided to each of the selected Badjao fishermen since the BFAR will employ them for coastal clean-up. The selected fishermen will be given training in radio communication since the BFAR will provide them fiberglass-made motorboats, fishing gears and handheld radio transceivers.
Velayo said in the report that they can offer help to the government, particularly BFAR, through reports of the presence of blast fishermen while they are fishing.
Velayo also added the agency has adopted safety measures to stop the sale of the motorboats by the beneficiary Badjao fishermen.