To help restore their means of livelihood, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. together with Cebu-based Aboitiz business units namely AboitizLand, Inc. and Visayan Electric, partnered with the local government units of Liloan and Talisay City, Cebu for the provision of 60 motorized fishing boats to 60 selected fishermen living in the coastal areas to help them recover from the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette.
The ‘Project Banca” is a recovery and assistance program for the fisheries sector which is considered as the most affected sector that sustained damages after Typhoon Odette with over 3,245 boats damaged across the Central Visayas Region affecting 9,000 families. The project aims to revive the livelihood of the fishermen that will enable them to go back fishing.
The project was launched last April 4 in Talisay City with the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the turnover of the initial 30 new bancas to the city’s identified beneficiaries. The event was attended by Talisay City Mayor Anthony Gerard “Samsam” Gullas; Committee Chair for Agriculture, Aquatic Resources, Wildlife, and Animal Welfare Councilor Jojo Bacaltos; City Agriculture Office OIC Bernard Quijano; Visayan Electric President Engr. Raul Lucero; Aboitiz Foundation Assistant Vice President Danilo Cerence; and the 30 banca recipients.
“Nagpasalamat kami sa Visayan Electric nga sa kadghan syudad nga covered sa ilang franchise, kita moy usa sa gi una ug hatag ug tabang. Sukad pa niadtong bagyo nga nanga tumba ang tanan poste dinha sa dalan, kanunay nakig koordina ang Visayan Electric sa local government ug karon 99.9% na ang napasigaan sa tibuok Talisay. (We are thankful to Visayan Electric because among all the municipalities and cities within their franchise area, Talisay City is one of the cities where they first extended help. Since the typhoon when the electric posts were lying on the streets, Visayan Electric was always in close coordination with the local government and has now restored electricity to 99.9% of all the consumers in Talisay)”, Mayor Gullas shared during the event.
As part of the signed MOA, Talisay City LGU facilitated the banca’s registration and application for insurance under the City’s Agriculture Office to ensure the sustainability of the project in case of other fortuitous events.
“Kami nalipay nga makauban ang atong mga mananagat karong adlawa para sa signing sa atong Memorandum of Agreement para sa Project Banca. Naa tay 30 ka motorized nga banca nga nay katig nga among ihatag ninyo pinaagi sa City of Talisay nga inyong magamit para sa pagpangisda. Ang amo lang hangyo sa tanan makadawat niining mga banca, nga inyo ni ampingan ug tarungon paggamit sa pagpangisda. (We are very happy to have you with us today in the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the Banca Project. We have 30 motorized boats with bamboo outriggers which you can use for fishing. Our only wish is for you to take care and use the banca properly for fishing),” Visayan Electric President Engr. Lucero said.
Talisay City Agriculture Office will also conduct monitoring activities to ensure that the bancas donated are well maintained and proper safekeeping measures are regularly observed by the beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, another MOA signing was held last April 5 for the turnover of 30 more bancas, this time to the Municipality of Liloan. The event was attended by Mayor Cristina Frasco, Vice-Mayor Atty. Thelma Jordan, AboitizLand Vice President for Corporate External Relations Anthony Noel, and Aboitiz Foundation Assistant Vice President Danilo Cerence. The event was also attended by the fishermen beneficiaries in the municipality.
In her speech, Mayor Frasco expressed her gratitude to Aboitiz, “Aboitiz has been supporting Liloan not just with projects such as this but also institutional projects. Ug karon nga bago ra ta gikulata sa bagyong Odette, naa nasad sila arun sa panghatag sa ilang tabang dinhi sa lungsod sa Liloan. (And now, after the recent devastation of Odette, they are once again here to provide help for the Municipality of Liloan). On behalf of the people of Liloan, please accept and convey my gratitude for your help for the 30 fishing boats nga atong iapud-apud sa tanan natong mga fishermen’s association (which we will turnover to the members of the fishermen’s association)”.
The donated bancas will be turned over by the Municipality to the members of the ten fishermen associations who will be in charge of the maintenance and proper usage of the banca.
“The end of 2021 has been very difficult for Cebu, aside from the pandemic, Typhoon Odette devastated the province. We know many were affected and lost their livelihood. We in the Aboitiz Foundation, together with our business units Visayan Electric and AboitizLand, mobilized to raise funds to be able to aid you to go back to fishing and have your livelihood back. We would like to thank the Local Fisheries Office, the Department of Agriculture, the fisherfolks association, and the Mayor’s office for extending their support for this project”, Aboitiz Foundation AVP Cerence said.
Charles Legate, a resident of Talisay and one of the recipients of the new banca, shared how this would help them get back on their feet. He expressed his gratitude to Aboitiz for being chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the program.
“Dako kaayo ning tabang sa amoa kay sukad pagkabata nako, mao gyud ni nagbuhi namo, nagpaskwela namo, ug nagsustenar namo nga pamilya. Pinaagi aning banca mabalik na among panginabuhi. Sa Aboitiz Foundation ug Visayan Electric ug sa tanan naghatag sa tabang, daghan kaayong salamat ug maayo unta nga daghan pa mog matabangan sa inyong mga proyekto.” (This is really a big help to our family as this has been our livelihood since I was a child, this provided for us, sent us to school, and sustained our families’ needs. Through this banca our livelihood is restored. To Aboitiz Foundation, Visayan Electric and all those who extended their help, I am very much thankful and I hope your project may help and reach more people), Legate said.
The Project Banca is part of the Aboitiz Group’s #RebuildCebu Campaign, which aims to help in the recovery of Typhoon Odette devastated areas in Cebu province through livelihood programs that will be instrumental in restoring economic activity affecting the lives of countless families.