Olango Fisher Folk Sail Anew with Impact Circle Japan, Lapu-Lapu LGU Turn Over Program

Olango Fisher Folk Sail Anew with Impact Circle Japan, Lapu-Lapu LGU Turn Over Program

Mactan's fisherfolks are able to revive their livelihood with 100 new boats through a partnership with the city and Impact Circle Japan.

It’s been over a year since typhoon Odette ravaged Cebu, but our local fisher folk continue to feel its long-term damage. Many have not yet been able to return to their livelihood as normal because of a lack of personal funds to replace their damaged fishing boats.

In cooperation with the Lapu-Lapu City Mayor’s Office and Olango Island LGU, Impact Circle Japan and the Philippines turned over 100 fishing boats with engines to registered fisher folk on February 9, 2023. This was the largest turnover of boats so far; a total of 48 boats were released in 2022. The partnership aims to extend the program to more fishing communities, and distributions in Leyte and Surigao are in the planning stages.

Through this “soft loan” program, fisher folk can own these 20-foot fishing boats with no down payment and no collateral required. The amount payable is Php 95 per day for the next three years, a manageable sum considering that fisher folk earn Php 500 to Php 1,000 on a regular day.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan said the LGU will shoulder the insurance for the boat loan, as well as the registered fisher folk loaning the boat. The LGU continues to educate fisher folk about responsible fishing practices, and only fisher folk who are registered with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) are eligible to apply for the loan.

Mayor Chan said this is part of a continued strong relationship between Cebu and Japan. The government hopes that the fourth Mactan bridge, to be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will begin construction next year.

Impact Circle president Satoshi Takahashi stated, “Through this program, we wish to give financial mobility to beneficiaries and to simply make people happy.”

 Officials of Impact Circle and the Lapu-Lapu City Mayor’s Office