Zambo-based commercial fishing group welcomes possible gov't assistance
Manila (7 August) -- The Zamboanga-based Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association (SPDSFA), the biggest commercial fishing group in the country, today welcomed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's directive to help them cope up with the high cost of diesel.
"The fishing group in Zamboanga welcomes the announcement that the President has directed Secretary Angie Reyes to conduct a dialogue with them. The dialogue is scheduled for next week," Press Secretary Jesus G. Dureza said at a press briefing in Malacañang this afternoon.
The SPDSFA contributes some 80 to 85 percent to the sardines production in the country.
The President directed Energy Secretary Reyes on Tuesday to study the possibility of providing subsidy to the SPDSFA to sustain their operation and avert a shortage of sardines, a popular table fare of ordinary Filipinos.
Some members of the fishing group have suspended their operations, claiming that the prohibitive cost of diesel fuel has rendered their livelihood unprofitable.
Dureza said Reyes will visit Zamboanga City next week to discuss with the affected fishermen how best the government could help them.
Reyes is expected to discuss with the SPDSFA both short and long-term solutions to the fuel-related problem of the SPDSFA and ensure that the 16 fishing vessels belonging to the group would resume operation. (PIA-MMIO) [top]