THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Northern Mindanao is urging the coastal municipalities of the region to join the regional search for the Most Outstanding Coastal Community.
The Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) program awards coastal municipalities with exemplary efforts in protecting and conserving the country's fisheries and aquatic resources.
According to BFAR-Northern Mindanao Director Teodoro Bacolod Jr., the MMK aims to encourage other local government units to adopt best practices and promote awareness on conservation, management and sustainable development of the municipal waters and provide sufficient funds for these endeavors.
It is also to encourage active participation on the implementation of Municipal Fisheries Ordinance, Republic Act (RA) 8550 as amended by RA 10654 and other pertinent laws, and to enhance partnership between local government units, other line agencies and the fishing community in the management of fisheries and coastal resources.
Bacolod said they have already started their information drive for MMK to the municipalities all over the region.
In order to qualify, the coastal municipalities must pass the criteria: no illegal fishing, observance of closed fishing season, establishment of marine protected areas, clean coastal waters without domestic and industrial wastes, and effective mangrove protection and rehabilitation program.
"Dapat ang mga munisipyo nga moapil ana is naa silay law enforcement nga istrikto kaayo, naa silay mangrove reforestation, limpyo ang ilang kadagatan, walay plastik, nag enforce sila og ordinance for close season," Bacolod said.
(The municipalities that will join this should have implemented strict law enforcement on marine and environmental laws, have mangrove reforestation program, clean shores that have no plastic, and enforced their local ordinance especially in close season.)
There are already some coastal municipalities who expressed interest to join the MMK, Bacolod said, adding that they are now busy preparing their documents.
He said the deadline of the submission of documents will be on May 15.
The regional winners of MMK, according to Bacolod, will receive P2 million worth of fishers projects for the grand winner; P1 million worth of fishers projects for the second placer; and P500,000 worth of fishers projects for the third placer.
For national winners, the grand winner will receive P30 million worth of fishers projects; P18 million to the second placer; and P10 million to the third placer.
The coastal municipalities will be evaluated for four months by experts from different regional and national agencies, according to Bacolod.
Last 2017, the municipality of Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental was hailed as the national winner of MMK.