GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- A small fishermen association in this city received aid from the city government and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
The Baluan Fisherfolk Association received 20 sets of seaweeds farming implements from Bfar and from the City Agriculturist's Office (CAO).
The distribution of the seaweed farming tools was led by City Mayor Ronnel Rivera and personnel from the BFAR.
"Actually, this is a very good opportunity for the fishermen of Baluan to have a new and alternative way of generating income. We hope that these tools will be used for good and would be taken care properly," Rivera said.
"We are also thankful to the Bfar and CAO for their constant partnership. Without it, these projects would not be handed to deserving beneficiaries like these fishermen from Baluan," the mayor added.
Each set consists of fishing ropes, seaweed seedlings, floaters, and non-motorized banca (small fishing boat).
Aside from the tools, the Bfar and the CAO conducted a one-day training on different seaweed farming techniques, with emphasis on the the "lantay" method.
Muaymina Dominguez, 35, was among those who benefited from the program.
"We are really thankful to Bfar and to the city government of Gensan for giving these to us. All of these are very useful for our livelihood, especially that fishing could sometimes be slacking," Dominguez said.
The farming implements alone are worth P240,000, while the seaweed seedlings cost P20,000.
According to CAO, the budget from this assistance came from a special grant from BFAR, amounting to around P2 million. The grant was given to CAO for having the highest number of fishermen associations listed and registered last 2014.
Aside from the seaweed farming implements, the P2 million was also used for the purchase of 72,000 mangrove seedlings and eight double-door freezers. The mangroves will be planted in Purok Minanga, Barangay Buayan. The freezers will be given to selected cooperatives in the city that operate value-added product post-processing businesses. (GenSan CPIO)