Uplifting lives through bangus farming in Pagbilao Grande IslandAboitizEyes
PAGBILAO, Quezon – It has been a rough couple of years for the fishermen in Pagbilao Grande Island in Quezon Province as restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic hindered their livelihood. The quarantine measures imposed by the government have prevented the fishermen from selling their catch in local markets in nearby towns. Tourism, which served as their other source of income on the island, was halted as well.
The fishermen, who all belong to the Fishermen Organization of Grande Island (FOGI), have waited patiently for the government to lift the lockdown restrictions, but days turned into months, and now, it has been more than two years since the start of the pandemic. While the situation now has significantly improved as the number of COVID-19 cases decrease and the economy opening up again, recovery for these fishermen has been slow as they continue to struggle to rebuild back the livelihood that they have nearly lost.
“Sobrang hirap talaga noong panahon na iyon, at hanggang ngayon, hindi pa talaga kami nakakabalik sa dati,” FOGI President Willy Batocabe shared. “Sa kabuhayan namin, wala namang kasiguraduhan–hindi namin alam kung may huli kami sa araw na ito o bukas, pero syempre, hindi kami susuko dahil para ito sa aming pamilya.”
Staying true to their mission of creating sustainable communities, AboitizPower subsidiary Therma Luzon, Inc. (TLI), together with Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (AFI), has partnered with BFAR-National Brackishwater Fisheries Technology Center (NBFTC) and Fisheries Iringan Samahan sa Hanapbuhay (FISH) Primary Service Cooperative to provide the fishermen in their host community in Pagbilao, Quezon with a more sustainable and assured livelihood.
“Through this Bangus Grande Enterprise project, we hope to capacitate these fishermen in managing their own milkfish or bangus fish cage business,” said TLI Reputation and Stakeholder Management Specialist Rupert Vito.
Read more about this project here: https://aboitiz.com/uplifting-lives-through-bangus-farming-in-pagbilao-grande-island/