The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has provided financial assistance to the bereaved families of the three fishermen who died during a ramming incident off the waters of Bajo de Masinloc in the West Philippine Sea.
The fishermen who died during the incident were Benidecto V. Olandria, Dexter G. Laudencia, and Romeo L. Mejico Jr.
On Thursday night, Oct. 5, BFAR National Director Demosthenes R. Escoto went to the wakes of the three fishermen in Zambales and handed each family P20,000 cash aid and food packages.
“Buong-pusong nakikiramay po ang BFAR sa inyo. Alam po naming walang kahit anong tulong ang makaktumbas sa buhay ng inyong mga mahal sa buhay, pero nandito po ang amin ahensya para mag-abot ng paunang tulong at makagaan kahit kaunti any inyong nararamdaman (We at BFAR send our heartfelt condolences to all of you. We know that no amount of help can equal the lives of your loved ones, but our agency is here to provide initial help and ease your heavy heart),” he told the bereaved families.
Escoto said they are one with the families in seeking justice for what happened to the victims of the ramming incident.
According to BFAR, the children of the three deceased fishermen will be granted scholarships for their college education in Fisheries at any state college or university where they are qualified for admission.
“This covers tuition, monthly stipend, and thesis allowance until they finish the program. Scholars will also be prioritized by the DA-BFAR for employment,” the agency stated.
On the other hand, the BFAR provided P2,000 cash aid and food packs to the 11 survivors of the incident.
The BFAR has also committed to assisting in the restoration of the vessel that was damaged during the October 2 event, allowing the affected fishermen to resume their livelihood activities.
“The Bureau will also provide a brand-new 62-footer fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) fishing boat to the Subic Commercial Operators Fishing Association Inc. to further equip them in fishing,” it added.
Escoto said the families of the said fishermen will get additional livelihood packages such as post-harvest training and equipment will be given to them to help them through the Bureau’s regional office in Central Luzon.
On Oct. 2, three fishermen died after a suspected foreign crude oil tanker rammed a Filipino fishing boat travelling off the waters of Bajo de Masinloc.