Sixto Paquibot, a fisherman of Olango Island in Cebu province and a survivor of the catastrophic Typhoon Odette, is all smiles as he received a bright green panggal (fish trap).
He is one of several members of the Happy Fisherfolk Organization in Brgy. Tingo who received some 300 panggal and two payao (raft) from the Naval Reserve Center Eastern Visayas, in partnership with the non-profit organization SimplyShare Foundation.
“We are so thankful for your help – from giving us pumpboats a few months ago, and now these panggal and payaw. These will help us and our families so we can continue fishing and sustain our means of living,” Paquibot said.
In June, NRCen-EV, in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, also turned over 10 fishing boats to members of the Happy Fisherfolk Organization.
“We will not give you fish. We cannot teach you how to fish, either. But we will give you the necessary implements so you can fish properly. I hope these can make your life and the lives who depend on you a little better than before,” NRCen-EV Commander James Francis Lugtu said.
Commodore Florante Gagua, commander of Naval Forces Central, said the project is part of the Navy’s efforts to achieve economic-inclusive maritime communities.
“To the beneficiaries of this project, may you sustain and maximize these (panggal and payao) to restore your livelihood and be able to bounce back in these trying times. Likewise, help the shorelines and marine resources in Olango by maintaining cleanliness. Be advocates of marine protection and preservation,” he said.
SimplyShare Foundation executive director Pamela Baricuatro, for her part, led the distribution of 50 boxes of noodles to the fisherfolk beneficiaries.
For barangay captain Audie Flores, the pump boats, panggal and payao represent a new hope for the fishermen who are all survivors of Typhoon Odette that struck Cebu province in December 2021.
“We thank the Philippine Navy for choosing Brgy. Tingo as one of your beneficiaries. We are very grateful because you did not get tired of helping our fishermen. You completed all their fishing needs to ensure they are able to sustain their livelihood,” Flores said.