First Biyaheng-Dagat, BFAR6 initiates
To bring government service close to far-flung localities, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region 6 (BFAR-R6) held its first biyaheng-dagat in Caluya, Antique on May 24 to 25, 2018.
The two-day biyaheng-dagat which was spearheaded by BFAR6 Regional Director Remia A. Aparri includes project turnover and distribution and seaborne patrol operation.
A ceremonial turnover of P3M worth of Community Fish Landing Center (CFLC) to the local government unit of Caluya located at Brgy. Imba was held on May 24, 2018. “This building [CFLC] will serve as hub for economic activities, as community center for fish trade and venue for skills training, community organizing and monitoring of fish catch and stocks management in your municipality”, Director Aparri said in her opening message.
Director Aparri emphasized that Caluya, being the top producing municipality of seaweeds in the region, the facility will be used as venue to improve seaweeds commodity such as drying, processing and other value-adding stuffs.
The turnover was attended by Mayor Genevieve Lim Reyes together with the LGU officials and fisherfolk members of twenty-seven (27) fisheries associations coming from the different islands of the said municipality.
“We will make sure that this facility will not become a white elephant. We will find ways to make this operationalize and be functional,” Mayor Reyes responded. She acknowledged the efforts of the bureau for coming over despite of a four-hour ferry ride and for continuously supporting and providing projects to the local government especially to the fisherfolk.
A fisherfolk consultation-dialogue with Director Aparri was also undertaken right after the turnover. The consultation became a venue of presentation and discussion of the various issues and concerns of the fisherfolk and seaweed growers in the said municipality.
BFAR 6 biyaheng-dagat continued as they attended the 2nd farmers’ and fisherfolk celebration at Brgy. Salamento, Caluya on May 25, 2018 wherein more than 5,200 fisherfolk and farmers assembled.
The celebration is themed, "Empowering the vulnerable sectors through community participation and involvement in building change for the better". Director Aparri pointed out that formation of fisherfolk organization into cooperative is a best way through the so-called “empowerment”.
Additional projects such as seaweed implements and dryers amounting to P268, 440 were awarded to LGU-Caluya. Likewise, twenty-five marine engines and 25 sets of gill nets were distributed to the fisherfolk during the raffle draw segment of the celebration.
Likewise, BFAR6 Regional Director promoted the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) program of the bureau which aims to recognize efforts of the coastal communities in protecting and conserving fisheries resources toward fisheries sustainability.
Emphasizing the five criteria of MMK program such as clean coastal water, establishment of marine sanctuary, observance of closed-fishing season, rehabilitation of mangrove areas and no illegal fishing, Director Aparri suggested that Caluya is potential to be qualified in the national competition.
In a separate venue, a seaborne patrol activity was conducted by the Philippine Coast Guard headed by Lieutenant Commander Ludovico Librilla Jr. and BFAR Fisheries Protection and Law Enforcement Group (FPLEG) boarding DA-BFAR Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) vessel. Director Aparri together with Mayor Reyes and her officials joined the MCS operation surrounding the 9 islands of Caluya.
Meanwhile, another set of team visited one of the bureau’s seaweed project sites in the neighboring island located at Brgy. Sibato while others remained at the Salamento Gymnasium for the Fisherfolk and Farmers’ Consultation-Dialogue.
The two-day biyaheng dagat was made possible through the efforts of BFAR6 regional operating units and the Antique provincial fisheries office in coordination with the local government of Caluya.
BFAR6 Regional Director Remia A. Aparri as she deliver hre opening message during the Turning Over of the Community Fish Landing Center at Brgy. Imba, Caluya, Antique