TACLOBAN CITY – The local government unit of Arteche in Eastern Samar is aiming to make the municipality the seaweed production and trading capital of Samar Island.
Arteche is located in the northernmost part of Eastern Samar province, near the border with Northern Samar.

On Friday (June 14), the Department of Agriculture-8, together with the provincial government headed by Governor Ben Evardone and other provincial officials, turned over a P16-million project to the Eastern Samar Seaweeds Production and Trading Enterprise (ESSPATE).

The event was also graced by DA-8 Regional Executive Director Andrew Rodolfo Orais.
The project was funded by the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), with a 20 percent counterpart from the provincial government of Eastern Samar and an additional P3-million contribution from the Catumsan Crab Growers Association.

“Through this initiative, we hope to increase our seaweed production and provide an alternative livelihood for our fisherfolk,” Mayor Evardone shared.

He added that the municipality will serve as the consolidator of all seaweed produced by sub-proponent groups.

Currently, fisherfolk from Barangay Beri are engaged in producing kappaphycus alvarezi, the largest tropical red algae species with a high growth rate.

Some of these seaweeds, locally known as ‘guso,’ are processed by residents into atchara and seaweed chips. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)