TACLOBAN CITY, – The government barred the distribution of stockpiled boats donated by a construction firm since those were found “not seaworthy”, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.
Results of the joint probe conducted by DILG, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) show that builders used substandard materials and the boats are “not fit for fishing operations due to its structural condition.”
The rotting boats now stockpiled at the compound of DENR office in Palo town are supposed to be distributed to fishermen between March to April this year. The DENR has asked assistance from the DILG to identify local government recipients.
DILG Regional Director Pedro Noval said the vessels were built by non-licensed boat builders and does not conform with MARINA rules on construction of wooden hulled bancas.
Other findings include uninstalled dilapidated bamboo floaters and outriggers, lack of side framing space, substandard size of transverse frames and stringer and low quality marine plywood.
“We share everyone’s wish to quickly distribute the donated boats to the fisherfolks affected by super typhoon Yolanda. We just have to ensure that the boats we distribute are seaworthy, safe and built according to the standards set by MARINA and BFAR,” Noval said.
DENR Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca said that upon DILG’s recommendation, they will ask the donor, DMCI Holdings Inc. to retrofit the boats to pass government standards.
“This is just the first tranche of donation because DMCI intends to donate 1,500 boats. We will request the donor to strictly conform to the standards,” Sibbaluca told PNA.
“Had they distributed the boats early, these would not have rotten because of non-exposure to natural elements,” the DENR official added.
The DMCI donation is in response to Environment Sec. Ramon Paje’s call to help rebuild the livelihood of families in coastal communities after super typhoon Yolanda, according to Sibbaluca.(PNA)