TUBIGON Bohol, December 12 (PIA)--Fishermen from Guiwanon Tubigon and nearby barangays open an early Christmas present, and they have officials cut the ribbons so the gift could be opened.
Wrapped in a fresh coat of light blue and its darker shade, the present is a P2.7 million Community Fish Landing Center that would soon be operated by fisherfolks association, said Bohol Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Fishery Officer Leo Bongalos.
Speaking for BFAR regional Director Allan Poquita who was in a conference in Manila, Bongalos told the community that the turn-over also opens the floodgates of trainings and capacity building for locals before fully owning the operation of the facility.
In the mean time, LGU Tubigon would be handling the operations, Bongalos said.
According to Bongalos, the CFLC is a multi-use facility: fishermen's fish landing site, accessible cheap fish market, fishermen's protection from bad weather, a space for mending and fixing broken nets and gears, meeting area as well as other venues for extra income opportunities for mothers.
The ribbon cutting which happened shortly after the speeches had Tubigon Mayor Willam R. Jao, Vice Mayor Virgilio Fortich, Sangguniang Bayan Members, Office of the Regional Director Allan Poquita represented by Mario Ruinata, BFAR Calape Melba Dumadag, Guiwanon and Bagongbanua Barangay Chairs Angelito Gibalay and Eufronio Abella, Cong Rene Relampabos' representative Archie Lungay, Gov Edgar Chatto's representative Mer Ebojo, Municipal Agriculture Officer Yolanda Labella and local fisherfolks led by Jessie Dolera as witnesses.
And in the season of giving, Mayor William Jao pitched in some more for the community with two stainless steel display tables for the new fish market center and a new freezer so fishermen can still keep their fish catch fresh.
All of these are in a facility that also works as a one stop for fish harvest traders looking for bargain prices.
In his message of acceptance, Jao urged people from the islands of the town to rather bring their harvest to Tubigon than in Cebu, stressing the need to help Tubigon first.
Like most areas in Bohol, despite sitting in an area teeming with marine treasures, fish price has remained too high for the poor compared to nearby Cebu.
Local officials assumed the low supply landing in Tubigon and in the towns in Bohol could have affected the pricing.
With the eight fish landing facilities set up in 2016 and six more by 2017, BFAR believes the price of fish and marine resources should go low any time sooner.
Funded by the BFAR and the National Anti Poverty Commission, the facility is the second of the 8 of such government anti-poverty initiatives in the Administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, Bongalos emphasized.
Initiated by BFAR but also sought by the local government, the Guiwanon CFLC is expected to bring down the price of fish as this would be a crucial facility that attracts commercial fishers who are landing fish in Cebu than in Tubigon, Vice mayor Fortich said.
The actual budget is P3 million, added Fortich, but when barangay also put up its counterpart, the project now gave the community savings.
For his part, Gov Chatto's Representative Mer Ebojo reiterates that the P2.7 M facility supports extensively the development framework of Bohol as it props up agriculture and food security. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)