BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources- Cordillera Administrative Region (DA- BFAR- CAR) continues to strengthen the small-scale fishing, and income of small scale fisher folks/ farmers and community organizations with the “Awarding of Fisheries Programs and Projects” to the beneficiaries at the BFAR- Provincial Office on May 25, 2018.
The Barangay Fish Terminal (BFT) was rolled over to five organizations/ associations to include Gueday Fruit Wine Makers in the municipality of Besao, Ilaglakhan Livelihood Organization in Bontoc, Hiefer Partner Families Marketing in Sabangan, Gabay Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Sabangan and Tadian FARMC. Each organization were given 120 kilograms of fresh marketable tilapia, one unit chest freezer and weighing scale.
Lilibeth L. Signey, the Regional Director of the BFAR-CAR said that the BFT Program aims to add income for community organizations at the same time make available supply of fish in the barangay.
She explained that the program will be implemented through a “roll over scheme” in which the BFAR shall provide the initial supply of fish to the recipient- organization/association to be sold by the latter at affordable price. The organization is entrusted with the task of returning the equivalent capital in cash to the DA-BFAR- CAR for the latter to be able to provide the second and third batch of fish to be sold by the same organization, but leaving them the profits earned.
Signey added that all the recipients will be monitored by the Regional and Provincial Offices of the BFAR in coordination with the respective Local Government Units (LGUs).
For the Municipality of Bontoc, Mayor Franklin C. Odsey together with the recipient – the Ilaglakhan Livelihood Organization has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the DA-BFAR – CAR to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the program.
The Bontoc LGU committed to identify the recipient organizations of the program; provide periodic monitoring and evaluation report to DA-BFAR-CAR for its information and guidance; institute measure to ensure the sustainability of the program in accordance with its purpose of increasing nutritional status of households in barangays; and submit data involving the output and the number of fisher folk benefited from the program. This is with the assistance of the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAg).
Odsey in a separate interview expressed his gratitude the DA-BFAR-CAR acknowledging that it is an additional income to the members of the association.
Aside from the BFT Program, 11 individuals availed of the Technical Assistance. Under this program, recipients were provided with fiber glass boat while others were provided with cooking ware, aluminum tray, knives, apron and fish deboning set.
In addition to this, Certificate of Scholarships were awarded to six individuals in Mountain Province who passed the examination for the Fisheries Scholarship Program being offered by the BFAR. The scholars are entitled to free tuition fee to any colleges or universities offering fishery-related courses; a monthly stipend of P4, 000.00; book allowance of P2,000.00 every semester; Thesis Support –P7,000.00; On the Job Training (OJT) Support- P3,000.00 and P1,500 as graduation allowance.
The activity coincided with the celebration of the Farmers’ and Fisher folk’s Month this May with the theme “Makabagong magsasaka at mangingisdang Pilipino, Susi sa tunay na pagbabago.”
Under Proclamation 33 signed in 1989, the month of May is celebrated as Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month in recognition of the efforts and contribution of the millions of Filipino agricultural laborers towards the advancement of the food production sector of the country.
By Alpine L. Killa, Bontoc