Group asks DA, BFAR to give Taal fishers reparation, unconditional financial aid

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Tawilis from Taal Lake.

MANILA, Philippines — Former Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Ariel Casilao on Tuesday urged the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to give Taal fishers reparation as well as unconditional financial aid to small fishers affected by the eruption of the Taal Volcano.

Recent reports that the damage to fisheries surrounding the Taal Lake now already pegged at P1.6 Billion affecting 6, 000 fish pens.

“The Department of Health’s early findings that fish products from the Taal Lake were not safe to eat added further suffering mostly to small fishers dependent on the lakes’ resources. Now that the finding of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the DA-DRMM is safe to eat, the DOH should lift its advisory,” Casilao added.

“We understand the DOH as it only run after the safety of consumers, but since the fish products from Taal Lake were declared safe to consume, the health department should immediately lift its advisory so that Taal Lake fishers can sell their products under the existing market price,” the Davao-based Anakpawis leader said.

He also said that the DA and BFAR likewise should exert effort on helping the affected fishers and fish pen workers for reparation and unconditional financial aid to help not only the fisher folks but also the fishing sector in the Taal Lake.

As   the main source of income of Taal Lake residents aside from food crops and tourism; the government should fast track aid to Taal Lake fishers.

The fisheries were the most affected sector on the eruption of Taal Volcano, other products severely damaged were pineapple, coffee, banana and coconut.

“The government should give premium to food producers affected by the Taal Volcano. It is not enough that the source of aid is coming from the public and the public sector, the Duterte government should exert more effort mostly to poor and marginalized sector affected by the volcanic eruption which includes small fishers, fish pen workers and small farmers,” Casilao said. (STACY ANG/IAMIGO/Currentph.com)

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