OCCIDENTAL MINDORO, April 27, 2020 – The Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 4B supplied 17,000 Milkfish (bangus) fingerlings to SAMASAMA Fisherfolk Organization beneficiaries of the municipality of Sta. Cruz, days before they transition to General Community Quarantine or GCQ.
The provincial and local government units (LGUs) of Region 4B spared no effort to aid local stakeholders in Sta. Cruz, Occidental Mindoro through efficient coordination, despite the strict implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in the province due to the CoViD-19 pandemic.
Upon the issuance of a travel order to pass through Occidental Mindoro from Oriental Mindoro, and coordination with the medical staff and LGU officials in San Jose, the fingerlings and the accompanying staff from the municipality of Magsaysay were able to reach Sta. Cruz on April 25, 2020, where the Fishery Extension Officer then mobilized the SAMASAMA Fisherfolk Organization members for the turn-over.
The group, which has 32 identified SAAD beneficiaries from barangays Wawa and Poblacion 1, received the free fingerlings as supplementary assistance from BFAR 4B’s Research Station Hatchery, following the construction of fish cages from December 2019 to March 2020. It will take about three (3) months to be able to reach the marketable size of bangus.
BFAR-SAAD Regional Focal Person Julie Ann Gabinete shared that this is a reinforcement to local fishers by preventing them to suffer any loss in critical times since capture fishing these days is costly, and market price is cheap.
During the ECQ, fish harvests of SAMASAMA fisherfolk are from the Payao project (FAD or Fish Aggregating Device), a SAAD intervention which they received in September 2019. The project resulted in producing 162 fish boxes at 65 kg/box. Common species harvested include Big-eye Scad (matang baka) and Mackerel Scad (galunggong). The fishes were sold for only Php 25/kgs, discernibly inadequate earning especially during a crisis, thus the supplementary assistance.
Continued interventions are attempts to assist local stakeholders for economic rehabilitation as they gradually transition to less community operations restriction. Starting 01 May, 2020, ECQ in Occidental Mindoro will be lifted, placing the entire province under GCQ or General Community Quarantine. ###
Writer: Jessamae Gabon, SAAD Public Relations, and Communications Officer
Source: Ms. Julie Ann Gabinete, BFAR-SAAD Regional Focal Person and @Bfar Mimaropa
Photo source: @bfar.mimaropa.4b (Facebook)