The gloomy days of Bohol having costly and scarce fish could beÂ partly over with two auspicious events.
FirstÂ was the turn-over last November 3 of a P3-Million Community Fish Landing Center inside the Inabanga Pubic Market in Barngay Ilaud ensuring consumers of cheaper, fresher fish in a one-stop venue fopr fisher folks.
This new facility is one of the 8 such facilities the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) allocatewd for Bohol in 2016 and the first completed, according to BFAR Regional Director Andres Bojos.
“It would be a legacy of BFAR RD Andres Bojos who would be bowing out after 41 years of government service,” said Inabanga Mayor Josephine Socorro Jumamoy, who felt honored to be the town’s conduit for the government project in the new facility.
“We are just instruments of the government for a project like this,” Mayor Jumamoy told the modest crowd who also erupted in applause when BFAR 7 RD Bojos announced the additional P300,000.00 worth of livelihood projects for the fishers of coastal or island barangays of Cuaming, Lawis, Hambungan, Tungod, Cagawasan and Ondol.
Faced with fish prices issues due to deprivation fishers of post harvest facilities, the new fish landing center would be equipped with chest freezers, an ice-plant, stainless steel display stalls and processing plants to make sure fishers get the value of their catch and lose nothing, RD Bohol explained.
BOHOLANO BFAR REGIONAL DIRECTOR
The secondÂ auspicious event is the designation of Boholano BFAR Asasistant Regional Director Dr Allan Poquita as the new regional director vice Bojos. who will be completing 41 years of dedicated public service.
The BFAR 7 Chief who would be retiring November 10 also continued by challenging fishers at the gathering to make sure the facility serves its purpose: have fish here and use the facility properly.
BFAR also gave a pair of stainless steel display stalls so that the displayed fish will be free from contaminants even as he urgedÂ the LGU to buy more locally purchased stainless steel display stalls.
The BFAR will equip the complex with a chest freezer and ice maker . Aside from the common fish landing area, the CFLC also provides an office, a meeting area, a training centerÂ and can rightly be called a “common shared serviceÂ facility” for fishermen intending to minimize post harvest losses, Poquita said.
Bojos, on the other hand , citedÂ the smooth coordination with mayor Jumamoy and the local SP led by Vice MayorÂ Rodrigo Jumamoy as instrumental in the fast-tracked implementation.
Meantime, Bojos .accompanied by Bohol Fisheries Officer Leo Bongalos went to Bentig, CalapeÂ to hand over another completed infrastructure project. BFAR’s regional savings in 2015 was converted into a BFAR Multi-Species HatcheryÂ and Training Center,
Boholanos are hoping that with Boholano Poquita at the regional BFAR regional helm and the 8 facilities completed, Bohol will ,at last, no longer have the distinction of having one of the most expensive fish prices in thew region.
IMPORTANTÂ ROLE OF MANGROVES
An NGO worker who organizes communities for USAID ECOFISH project Anecita Gulayan, in a separate interview explained that the mangroves and wide spawning areas of Inabanga: mangroves flats, sea grass beds, largely conserved corals help make the town and its waters a rich fishing ground.
The fish landing center would also be a venue for fisherfolk organization meetings, trainings and where they can share the post harvest equipment and learn the technology of production, added incoming BFAR RD Allan Poquita who is also a Boholano.
Now, the local folksong lyric “gibaligya sa merkadong guba,” wouldn’t apply anymore to Inabanga, Poquita who used to be Bohol Fishery Officer stressed, meaning the new facility.
In her message during the event turn-over, Mayor Jumamoy rallied her people to unite to show to the world how Inabangnons are bound by the principles of protecting [its] marine resources and environment for the future generations.
Inabanga has implemented an integrated community based coastal resource management project where it earned certification levels 1 and 2 for CRMP in 2001-2002.
The management plan included upland and coastal resource management plan which are community based in approach and assures widest participation and community ownership, Inabanga CRM coordinator Reynante Cempron intoned.
The town also earned Ramsar wetlands conservation award and even represented the country’s wetlands in Uganda, Cempron also volunteered the information.
Inabanga’s conservation and wise use of its wetlands largely contributed to the over-all goal of sustainable food and thus development in the town, Cempron divulged.Â ( WITH REPORTS FROM rac/PIA-7/Bohol)