Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gordon seeks loan for fishermen

SEN. Richard Gordon urged the government to use revenues from the expanded value added tax to provide soft loans to fishermen affected by typhoon “Frank.”

Gordon also wants fishermen to be issued “dog tags” and given loans to acquire two way radio communication systems or tracking devices.

“We have to help our fishermen repair, refloat or replace their fishing vessels. After the fish scare, we may face a fish shortage and perhaps an escalation in prices for one of our staple foods,” Gordon said.

He wants the government to use EVAT revenues to help fishermen buy new boats. He also urged the Coast Guard and local government units to make a detailed report of the fishing vessels damaged or lost in their area and include an initial assessment of the cost of repairing or replacing them.

He noted that around 301 small and medium sized fishing boats were damaged or sunk by typhoon “Frank.”

“We expect the figure to be greater because if steel hulled vessels sank, smaller bancas caught in the typhoon would not have fared any better. The cost of the damage is at P600 million but the greater damage is the loss of income of our fishermen,” he said.

“Some may have already stopped sending their children to school and there may be many who have nothing to eat,” Gordon added. By: Bernadette E. Tamayo - Journal online

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