SMC donation of boats to benefit Sariaya fishermen

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 28) — Dozens of fishermen are seen to benefit from a donation of boats by San Miguel Corporation.

The company said in a statement that 36 fishing boats will help around 69 fishermen who have been relocated to a new sustainable, disaster-resilient community in Siriaya, Quezon. These fishermen used to live in at-risk areas that will form part of SMC's planned ₱352 million agro-industrial complex investment in the province.

"We are committed to helping our fishermen families in Sariaya build better lives for themselves by giving them their own homes, providing continuous skills training, resources, and building for them facilities that will enhance their livelihood. We consider them partners in bringing economic growth, jobs, and development to Sariaya and the whole of Quezon province," said SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang in an announcement on Sunday.

The donation is made up of 33 large fishing boats, to be co-owned by two fishermen, and three small ones for single owners.

Ang said the recipients of the boats are long-time fishermen who have been unable to buy their own vessels or had to sell them because of poverty or lack of resources.

Last year, SMC built the multi-purpose Fishermen's Dock on a 3.5-hectare property, which can secure more than 100 boats, particularly during typhoon season.

"Fishing is still one of the main sources of livelihood for many residents in our housing community. That is why we built them their own Fishermen's Dock last year and initiated the boat donation program, to help fulfill their dream of finally owning boats. This will enable them to earn more and bring their daily catch to their families and fulfill the food requirements of the housing community and surrounding areas in Sariaya," Ang said.