Amid rising fuel prices, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will fast-track the release of the fuel subsidy to 355 fishermen in Eastern Samar province. The fisheries bureau has partnered with Universal Storefront Services Corporation (USSC) to fast-track the release of assistance to fisherfolk, said Christine Gresola, information officer of the BFAR regional office here, in a phone interview Tuesday. The fisherfolk beneficiaries are from the towns of Arteche, Balangiga, Can-avid, Borongan, Dolores, General MacArthur, Giporlos, Guiuan, Hernani, Lawaan, Llorente, Maydolong, Mercedes, Oras, Quinapondan, Salcedo, San Julian, San Policarpo, and Taft. ‘This is to cushion the impact of the ongoing economic challenge causing continuous spike on fuel price, affecting the fishing routine of our fisherfolk and disturbing the price trend of selected fishery commodities,’ Gresola said. Last week, recipients underwent the onsite know-your-client procedure with the BFAR and USSC to process their fuel subsidy cards. Each fuel subsidy card worth PHP3,000 is available for use at partner and accredited gasoline stations within the region. Beneficiaries will be notified by their respective municipal agriculture officers once their cards are ready to be claimed within the third and last week of August 2023, according to Gresola. They are reminded to bring their waivers while their representatives may bring authorization letters upon claiming their cards. The waiver ensures their commitment as it outlines the responsibilities of beneficiaries. By September, BFAR expects that almost 95 percent or 5,483 fuel subsidy cards worth PHP16 million will be distributed to qualified municipal fisherfolk in the region. Gresola said they aim to hasten the distribution of cards to prepare for the future distribution of the second round of fuel subsidy cards to over 13,000 beneficiaries. The fuel subsidy program in Eastern Visayas started on July 22, 2022, seeking to maximize the utilization of agri-fishery machinery and facilities and enhance the resiliency of fisherfolk beneficiaries. For the first tranche, 5,898 fisherfolk beneficiaries have been endorsed by their respective municipal agriculture office to the BFAR regional office to receive the said grant.
Source: Philippines News Agency