THE municipality of Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental, has won the regional search for the Most Outstanding Coastal Community for the second time in a row.
The Malinis and Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) program, now on its second year, is conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and aims to recognize outstanding initiatives and contributions of coastal municipalities and cities in protecting and conserving their marine environment.
Cristani Salde, Information Staff of BFAR-Northern Mindanao, said Laguindingan, as the regional grand winner of this year's MMK, will receive livelihood projects worth P2 million.
Salde said Bacolod, Lanao del Norte (second placer) will receive P1 million worth of livelihood projects while Mahinog, Camiguin (third placer) will receive P500,000 worth of livelihood projects.
Laguindingan also won first place in 2016, with Bacolod as the second placer and Mambajao, Camiguin as the third placer.
Salde said to qualify, the coastal municipality must pass the following criteria: No illegal fishing; effective mangrove protection and rehabilitation program; clean coastal waters without domestic and industrial waters; established Marine Protected Areas; and observance of closed fishing season.
Every regional winner, Salde said, will be representing their region in the national level of the contest.
"Ang first sa kada-region sila ang pwede maka-compete sa national level na contest. Isa ang Laguindingan nakasulod sa top 5 nga i-evaluate kung kinsa ang makadaog," Salde said.
Aside from Laguindingan, municipalities of Calatagan, Batangas; Cortes, Surigao del Sur; Palompan, Leyte; and Claveria, Cagayan were included among the top 5 municipalities to be evaluated by the MMK National Technical Search Committee.
Salde said the MMK National Technical Search Committee has started the evaluation on October 24 in the municipality of Calatagan.
Laguindingan is scheduled to be evaluated on November 7 to November 10; municipality of Cortes on November 21 to 25, Palompan on November 28 to December 2, and Claveria on December 11 to 15.
The National Grand Winner will receive livelihood projects worth P30 million, P18 million for second place, and P10 million for third place.
Salde said the date for the awarding for the National Search for Most Outstanding Coastal Community is still undecided but it will be held during the first quarter of 2018.