As a saying goes, don’t just give them fish but teach them how to fish so that they will learn to stand on their own and be able to feed themselves for a lifetime.

Relief goods continue to pour on the hapless victims of typhoon Yolanda and perhaps it will continue for the next six months. But what will happen after six months? When will they have their homes reconstructed? How will they be able to go back to their normal lives when they no longer have fishing boats which are the source of their livelihood?

It was the sea that destroyed the houses and livelihoods of the thousands of super typhoon victims. So, let us bring them back to sea because many of them are fishermen whose livelihood depends on the bounty of the sea. But how can we put them back to the sea if their fishing boats were destroyed by the typhoon?

I know that there are so many of our benevolent benefactors in the maritime industry who are so blessed and can afford to buy one small fishing boat (pumpboat) for one hapless fisherman. Maybe Madame Doris Magsaysay Ho who has just called some shipownerson how to help the victims of “Yolanda” can spearhead this project. The president of the Joint Manning Group, Mr. Eduardo Manese, may also augment what the association of shipowners has.

In addition to that, these victims also need permanent shelters. They can build their homes againin the cheapest possible way. Almost all the coconut trees are not standing anymore.  Why not make use of the fallen coconut trees and make them coco lumber? Just apply some chemicals for toughening this lumber and they will have sturdy material for the construction of their small houses. All we have to do is to provide them a chain saw to cut these coconut trees.

Well, this is just an idea that came to my mind which I believe is worth trying. If we will be able to do this, I believe that the maritime industry will be among the forerunners of bringing the typhoon victims back to their normal lives.

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