Filipino fishermen in Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc in Zambales received help from the GMA Kapuso Foundation amid China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea.
According to “24 Oras,” Wednesday, Joefrey Elad was among the fishermen whose income had been greatly affected.
“Totally, lahat kami nakakadanas talaga ng hirap minsan nagkakautang utang pa dahil sa lugi, ganiyan, pero sa amin ‘di pa rin kami humihinto nakikipagsapalaran kami,” Joefrey said.
At this time, Joefrey makes a living from selling aquarium fish whenever he can’t go around the Scarborough Shoal.
He earns P5,000 per week, a far cry from his previous income of P15,000 per week from fishing in the reef.
Joefrey said that he still considers himself lucky because some of his fellow fishermen opted to drive a tricycle and earn P300 per day.
He said that in 2014, he experienced harassment from the Chinese coast guard personnel, and it was also the time when their income started to decrease.
“Grabeng karanasan din ang nangyari sa amin noon, pero kaming mga Pilipino parang sanay na rin sa mga ganyan na ano. Kasi kung hindi kami magmamatigas, uuwi talaga kaming luhaan,” he said.
Currently, the fishermen can only fish along the sides of Scarborough Shoal.
As a way to help the fishermen, the GMA Kapuso Foundation gave them food packs.
“Kami ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa GMA Kapuso Foundation sa pag-aabot ng tulong sa ating mga mangingisda dito sa Zambales. Ang inyo pong kasundaluhan ay laging nandito po at handang tumulong,” 69th Infantry Division, 7ID, PA CMO Officer 2LT Chrizzia Carielle D. Sibal said.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga kami dahil sa tagal naming mga hinaing, ngayon talaga, nasubukan na naming nakarating ang GMA dito sa Masinloc, Zambales,” Joefrey said.
For those who are interested to help, the GMA Kapuso Foundation is accepting donations through bank deposits, Cebuana Lhuillier, GCash, Shopee, PayMaya, Zalora, MegaMart, Globe Rewards, Metrobank credit card, and Lazada.
For more information, visit the GMA Kapuso Foundation website. — Carby Basina/BAP, GMA Integrated News