SOGOD, Southern Leyte – The provincial government of Southern Leyte and local government units located along Sogod Bay expressed their support to the resolution that endorses the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency Project or Fishcore Project.
The provincial government and the municipal governments of San Ricardo, Pintuyan, Liloan, Libagon, Sogod, Bontoc, Tomas Oppus, Malitbog, Padre Burgos, and Limasawa, including the municipality of Macrohon and the city of Maasin, joined the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in adapting a resolution to express their support for the realization of the project.
The resolution is to be forwarded to Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and the Regional Development Council, among others.
The project intends to improve the management of fishery resources and enhance the value of fisheries production to coastal communities, and help revitalize a better ecosystem services and engaging and motivating the community to fulfill stewardship for the fishery resource bases.
“We’re not focusing only on a simply livelihood but this one is gearing on the enterprise development,” Juan Albaladejo, BFAR regional director, said.
On the first year of the project implementation, the private public partnership component of the project will start which includes putting up investment on establishing fish cages, while on the second year will focus on setting up multi-fish hatchery, pit mill, and post-harvest facilities like an ice plant, according to Albaladejo.
“Our investors will come in to invest to the mari-culture development of the agri-fisheries business corridor and at the same time, the fisherfolks will be trained to become farmworkers with decent salary and incentives,” Albaladejo added.
The project which will be funded under a loan at World Bank worth $200 million with counterpart from the national government through BFAR worth P1.341 billion, P357.18 million from the private sector and P123.07 million from the beneficiary group.
The project will be implemented in seven years starting in 2023 and projected to benefit 547,000 fisherfolks, to include those coming from Regions six and 9.
Southern Leyte Governor Damian Mercado lauded the effort saying that they are also into preserving their marine resources to help their local fishermen.
He disclosed that his administration is implementing projects to help increase the fish population in their sea water like putting up provincial hatchery.
“This project will help in ensuring that more fishes will thrive in Sogod Bay helping to increase the catch of our fishermen resulting for them to have more income,” Mercado added.
Southern Leyte Rep.Roger Mercado, who was also a signatoree of the resolution, also urged local government officials and residents along Sogod Bay to support the program.
“The fund for this project is a huge amount, I hope that this will not on waste because if this becomes successful this will generate good benefit to our fisherfolks,” Mercado said.
“Our government ultimate goal is to help beneficiaries of projects to improve their living condition. Once they improve this result to the development of their barangay, their municipality or city, then our province. If we can do this we will be contributing to our over-all development of our country’s economy,” he added. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)