LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, accompanied by Governor Amado I. Espino, III and other local officials, turned over 70 fiberglass-reinforced boats and other fishery projects during a dialogue with fisherfolks from Pangasinan and La Union recently in Sual, Pangasinan.
The distribution saw a windfall of P 54-million worth of fishery projects to fisherfolk beneficiaries in the two provinces from DA.
Piñol said that the 70 boats are just the initial delivery of 700 boats intended for the 14 coastal municipalities in Pangasinan, aside from the 381 fishing gears distributed to the combined 500 fisherfolk beneficiaries from the said provinces.
In his welcome remarks, Governor Espino conveyed to Secretary Piñol that Pangasinan needs more farms-to-market road (FMR) projects as well as important farming equipment and facilities.
“We need your help. We have pending requests under your department, FMRs under TPR-DB program, post facilities for our farmers and other important farming equipment,” the provincial chief executive pleaded.
Gov. Espino also mentioned Pangasinan’s copping anew the Corn Achievers Award for the third time as awarded November last year in South Cotabato and the Pagasa Award conferred upon the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist in recognition of the meritorious implementation of the provincial rice program December last year.
“Your coming here to our province is an assurance of your care for the welfare of our farmers and fisherfolks,” he said as he thanked the secretary.
Piñol responded in his speech that the national government is awash with cash to the tune of P39 billion intended for FMRs all over the country.
“All you have to do is provide a 10 percent counterpart from your LGU funds,” Pinol said as he bared that this is a World Bank-funded project as part of the Philippine Rural Development Program.
Pinol also distributed checks for the funding of the construction of four community fish landing centers, municipal wharf for Infanta, maintenance of marine protected area/fish sanctuary project for Anda, P2 million worth of projects for Agno and Bani and some 250 units of handline fishing gills.
A former governor and a media personality, the Agriculture Secretary said that indeed Pangasinan bangus is succulent and very in demand even in other countries. Thus, Pangasinan should prepare to supply the huge volume of requirement of Metro Manila, Pinol said as the illegal fishpens in Laguna Lake which produced 36 percent of Bangus
requirement in Metro Manila are set to be dismantled.
He also pledged to provide coolers for Pangasinan and La Union fisherfolks pegged at P3 million each.
Piñol is keen on formulating the country’s 10 to 20-year agriculture and fisheries road map, which would be based on the provincial road maps to be submitted by governors throughout the country.
Also joining Sec. Pinol were Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil, Former Speaker Jose De Venecia, Congressman Toff De Venecia, Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue, DA Regional Director Valentino Perdido, BFAR Regional Director Nestor Domenden and other DA and local officials.
By Dexter A. See