A gift that multiplies opportunities

Frederick, 40, cannot hide excitement. He finally has a motorized boat — the first that he can call his own since he became a fisherman at 12 years old.

“I am excited to finally get a boat of my own, but I am more excited to the good results that it will bring me and my family,” he shares.

Frederick has two children — World Vision sponsored child Vincent, 11 and Ellah, 9. His wife, Guilly, is a stay-at-home mother. The couple has been trying to make ends meet from his income. When he joins a fellow fisherman for bait fishing from 5 in the morning until 11, 25% of his catch goes to the boat owner. He usually earns P100 per day. If he joins a boat with fishing net, usually between 4 until 7 in the morning, he only gets 25% of the income, which is around P200 each day.

“That is always the case when you do not have a boat of your own. The income is not enough to provide for all the needs of my children, but we try to get by each day,” he says.

A Philippine Statistics Authority report said that fishermen and coastal dwellers comprise the poorest sector of the Philippine society, with a poverty incidence of 34.0% in 2015. Despite the potential of the country’s marine resources, fisher folks and those living in coastal areas struggle to earn more income because of lack of fishing facilities.

Through World Vision’s gift catalog, fisher folks like Frederick are given a better shot at life by empowering them to rise above poverty. At least 16 fishing families in the province of Misamis Occidental were given motorized boat (length:18 feet, height:20 inches, breadth:18 inches) and gillnets approved by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in April 2021. They were also trained by World Vision, in partnership with BFAR, on the proper handling of fiber glass fishing boat, fishing methods, marine life and coastline conservation.

“This is a big blessing to us. I already used the boat for bait fishing. From P100 income before, I was able to bring home P300 to my family,” Frederick smiles. He anticipates that as he start using the gillnets, his daily income will be at least P500. This is a big increase from a weekly income of P1400 to around P3500.

Asked how he plans to use the additional money that he gets now that he has a boat of his own, “I will try to save as much as I can for my children’s education.”

Vincent, his eldest, knows the hard work of his father so he was also excited when his father brought home their own boat.

“I am thankful! Papa is happy,” he shares. While he has challenges coping with the current education set up that uses modular learning because of the pandemic, Vincent tries his best to do well in school.

“I find English subject the hardest but I do my best to get better at it. I want to finish college and become a fireman to help my other people and my family,” he adds. And, if God permits, he will also buy his father an even bigger commercial fishing boat one day.

Photos by Jhoy Maung, World Vision Staff