Press Release
December 12, 2013

Drilon donates bancas to Yolanda-affected fishermen

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon facilitated today the donation of a fleet of motorized fishing bancas to members of fishing communities affected by super typhoon Yolanda, in a ceremonial turnover held in the coastal town of Concepcion in Iloilo.

Drilon, an Iloilo native, has raised a P2 million fund to purchase 100 motorized fishing bancas for Iloilo's numerous coastal fisherfolk, whose bancas and fishing equipment were lost when typhoon Yolanda struck the Visayan region.

The beneficiaries would come from the coastal towns of Concepcion, Estancia and Carles which were badly hit by the recent typhoon. The town of Estancia also suffered from an oil spill. Drilon was joined by provincial officials led by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor in personally turning over the initial ten motorized bancas to their recipients, with the rest of the fleet to be distributed soonest by the local government.

The Ilonggo senator explained that the donation was spurred by his visit to the province following the typhoon's exit.

"In my previous visit, I saw for myself how the calamity destroyed the means of livelihood for so many of the affected citizens - especially those fisherfolk in the coastal towns whose means of living were completely swept away," Drilon noted.

Drilon said that in municipalities like Concepcion, "thousands of bancas were destroyed by the storm, 80% of which were motor bancas much valued by the fishermen that used them."

"Thus I felt it was necessary to raise a fund from my personal savings, along with donations from some of my partner organizations, with which we were able to buy motorized boats," he then added.

Drilon said that he hopes the donation, in its own way, would give the recipient fishermen "a decent start to get themselves and their families back on their feet, after the tragedies that fell upon them."

The Senate chief also said that he would look at the possibility of using Senate savings to procure more boats for fishermen in other affected provinces, including Leyte and Samar.

"We will try to find a way for the Senate to donate to those areas that still very much need our aid and commitment, particularly the coastal towns in Leyte and Samar," the senator then said.

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