Monday July 16, 2018

Politics may affect new fish landing site, locals fear

CAGAYAN DE ORO. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) turned over this Community Fish Landing Center in Barangay Bonbon to the Cagayan de Oro city government on Monday, June 18. (Photo from BFAR Northern Mindanao Facebook)

A NEW fish landing facility has been inaugurated in Barangay Bonbon but local fisherfolk are worried that a change of leadership in their village might affect its operations.

Federation of Coastal Barangays Fisherfolk Associations of Cagayan de Oro (FEDCOBFAC) president Florencio Ceballos said the P2.8 million fish landing facility is expected to increase the earnings of the fishermen and boost the economy of the barangay.

"Dakog tabang ni siya kay among ginagmay na abot by kilo lang, naa nay easy market, ang mga mananagat pud dinhi pwede makatukod ug cooperative, ang tanang mga mamalitay diri na modiritso so mas sayon para sa amo ang mamaligya (This is a great help for us especially if our catch is not that high, we will have an easy market here, the fishermen can also create a cooperative, and all fish buyers can go directly here so it will be easy for us to sell)," he said.

Ceballos, however, said they are worried that the loss of outgoing village chairperson Jacky Merto to incoming barangay chieftain Allan Mabalacad will affect the operations of the facility.

He said if Mayor Oscar Moreno also doesn't win in the next elections, the project could be abandoned.

"Ang amo lang gikahadlokan diri kuung dili na si mayor, bal-an baya nimo ang politika sa cagayan de oro, basta kontra-pulitika ang modaog, dili dayon tiwason ang proyekto kay ang macredit ang pikas (We fear that if the mayor doesn't win this project will be unfinished, because of politics). Dapat continuous na ni ug masustain ang pangita sa mga mananagat kay sayang (We hope that this development will be continuous so that our earnings is sustainable too)," he adds.

Moreno, meanwhile, said he needs the cooperation of the incoming village chieftain so the project will not fall prey to political bickering.

"Prangka lang, wala ko malipay sa resulta pero unsaon taman mao may pagbuot sa katawhan (To be frank, I was not happy with the election results but we can't do anything because it's the people's choice). Nanghinaut ako nga bag-ong kapitan will be supportive, dili unta kini mahimong biktima sa mga panagbangi sa pulitika (I hope that the new barangay captain will be supportive, so this project won't be a victim to political differences)," Moreno said.

"Unta mapuslan gyud ni kay lagi sayang (We hope this will be useful to the fishermen. This can succeed or not, depende sa pag-atiman (depends on how we take care of it)," he added.

The fish landing center was turned over by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to the local government officials Monday, June 18. Eight stainless steel tables and 2 freezers were also donated by BFAR to the fisher folks for the cleaning and storage of fishes.

The fish landing center will be temporarily managed by the Agricultural Productivity Office (APO) as the officers of the fisher folks association will still have to undergo management training.

The project is provided under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 which authorizes BFAR to establish post-harvest facilities for fishing communities consistent with the policy of providing support to subsistence fisheries, in the exercise of their rights to benefit from the country’s fisheries resources, especially in municipal waters.