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News > SMPC turns over 40 fiberglass bancas for fishing livelihood

SMPC turns over 40 fiberglass bancas for fishing livelihood

Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC), in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), has turned over 40 boats through its fiberglass banca program that aims to promote sustainable fishing livelihood to impact areas. The program pledged an additional 35 boats to qualified fisherfolks from barangays Semirara, Tinogboc, and Alegria.  

SMPC provided all materials for the boat fabrication, as well as the motor engine, rudder assembly, shafting, and propeller. Through the “bayanihan” system, the beneficiaries took part in the fabrication with technical assistance of experts from the Municipal Agricultural Office of Caluya, Antique. Fiberglass banca has gained popularity among fishermen due to its durability and longer asset life that spans approximately 30 to 50 years compared to the traditional wooden banca.


Eddie Panganiban and his wife Josefina are among the beneficiaries from Barangay Tinogboc. “Having a motorized banca, I can go to deeper fishing waters, even as far as Caluya. I now regularly fish and sell my catch in the market, enabling me to provide for my family,” Eddie shared. “We will take good care of the banca so that even our grandchildren can still use it,” Josefina added.  

Lolita and Amelito Brabonga from Barangay Alegria echoed the same sentiment. “Our old makeshift boat was made of styrofoam because we cannot afford to have a sturdier one,” Lolita recalled. “Through SMPC, our fish catch improved, increasing our income. From my earnings, I can now send my child to school,” Amelito said.


To enable a thriving marine ecosystem crucial for the long-term sustainability of the island, SMPC deploys man-made reef balls around Semirara coastal waters. Reef balls create artificial reefs to mitigate the negative impacts of overfishing, destructive fishing, and coastal development.


Similarly in April 2022, SMPC’s power subsidiaries, Sem-Calaca Power Corporation and Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corporation have successfully deployed 100 artificial coral reefs along the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Barangay Carenahan in Balayan, Batangas, as well as installed a watchtower in the said shoreline to support the bantay-dagat (sea patrol) community volunteers tasked to protect the marine environment.

In 2000, SMPC helped establish the Semirara Fishermen’s Association (SEMFA) and provided a mother boat for the fishing group. To date, SEMFA’s fishing operations have sustainably grown to over 200 members and have increased its fleet to nine vessels.

This year, SMPC celebrates its 25th anniversary since the acquisition and management control by parent company DMCI Holdings, Inc. in 1997.


Source: Panay News