On the 8th day on November 2013, Typhoon “Yolanda” directly hit the Philippines which largely devastated and destroyed the properties and livelihoods of the fisherfolk from Regions 8,7,6 and 5 respectivley. The fisherfolk properties and livelihood were either destroyed or lost specifically the fishing boats and gear leaving the poor fisherfolk helpless and no direction. This situation urged the entire BFAR instituion, the Central and Regional Offices to initiate and assess the overall status of damages and its overall effect among the fisherfolk. Hence the deploymeny of M/V DA-BFAR and all the land base and sea based transport facilities to transport any available livelihood interventions in Region 8, the most affected as weel as livelihood interventions such as marine plywoods, copper nails, paints and fishing gears. However the said assustance initially provided to those fishing boats which can be repaired and targeted next those who totally lost their respective fishing boats. However major problems was encountered by BFAR in view of the scarcity of wooden dug out for the replacement and construction of new fishing boats.

The former BFAR Top Management then tap the services of the National Marine Fisheries Development Center to recommend alternative Boat Construction Technology and introduce environment friendly technology using alternative materials to replace the wooden boats. It was in this premise that the former Chief of the NMFDC and the concerned Technical Staff in the person of Eng. Don George Tana and Mr. Pierre Easter L. Velasco thought of introducing the fiberglass boat construction by way of capacitating BFAR Staff and End users on actual fishing boat construction and operation. The initial step was the Capacity Building thru Training of Trainors on the Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Fishing Boats at NMFDC, Sangley Point, Cavite attended by the 40 Technical and QRT Staff from BFAR Central and Regional Offices. Since said training program is an initiation, the results of the 25 days training duration only produced 2 plugs, 2 moulds and 2 products of the 20 and 30 footer fishing boats. These results were the start that enhanced the technological capability of NMFDC and harnessed the technical expertise of the staff who responded to the Critical Needs of the affected fisherfolk from the regions of typhoon yolanda under the Ahon Program which provided the entire affected fishrfolk population with fishing boats, marine engines and fishing gears.

This livelihood interventions for the Typhoon Yolanda Episode although has been part of the Horrible History became an Opportunity and a New Beggining for a Better future of our Fisherfolk in the entire country.


Under the new administration of the President Rodrigo R. Duterte and the leadership of Secretary Emmanuel Pinol of the Department of Agriculture and Director Eduardo B. Gongona of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the DA-BFAR with its Mission to ” Improve Fisheries Productivity and Empowering the Stakeholder towards Food Security, global competitiveness and climage change adaptation” institutionalized the training/capacity building on the consturction of FRP F/B PAGBABAGO as livelihood interventions to ensure resiliency and safety of Fishermen at sea. it aims to uplift the socio economic status of the Fisherfolk through provision of disaster-resilient fishing boats to insure the safety of fishermen at sea and empower them to become responsible Resource Users.

The construction of FRP F/B Pagbabago will be implemented Nationwide as one of the key technological advances in Fishing Technology through the DA BFAR to continously exert its effort towards holistic and sustainable fisheries development. The boat designs and materials (fiberglass, mats, lay-up etc.) will be based on the type of fisheries activities where the fishermen are engaged in; the fishing grounds and the sea conditions for the boats to withstand the hars weather. Hence to insure and sustain the Standard Quality of the FRP Boats to be constructed, the DA-BFAR thru the National Marine Fisheries Development Center has developed this Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) F/B Pagbabago Construction, Repair and Maintenance Training Manual. The said Manual shall be an effective tool to guide all users for the effective production of the FRP boats in a quick affordable way thru the skillful fabrication of plugs, moulds and parts.

The boat making project Bangka Ko, Gawa Ko is a component of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR)’s major program, the F/B Pagbabago Program.

The F/B Pagbabago Program aims to provide fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) boats or bancas to less privileged fisherfolk families. One (1) FRP boat is shared by two families.

FRP Boats are disaster-resilient, more durable, and more environment-friendly alternatives to conventionally produced wooden boats. They are designed to ensure resilience and safety of fishermen at sea.

Through the Bangka ko Gawa ko project, the Bureau institutionalized capacity-building on construction of FRP bancas as livelihood interventions to uplift the economic status of fisherfolk and empower them and their families to become responsible resource producer and user.