April 16, 2024

BANGUED, Abra – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has turned-over the newly constructed Community Fish Landing Center (CFLC) worth P3.7 million to the Calaba Farmers and Fisherfolk Association (CFFA).

This center has postharvest equipment like upright freezers, chilling tanks, fish tubs, weighing scales, and other supplies.

“We are fortunate to rebuild the facility in 2023 after our central office approved our proposal for its reconstruction to resume its full operation”, Regional Director Lilibeth L. Signey said.

The CFLC was established in 2018 and was used for economic events like fish landings and auctions, as well as space for information sharing, community organizing, and skill development. But after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the area in 2022, the CFLC collapsed and was no longer safe for human habitation.

As conveyed, Bangued Mayor Mila A. Valera encourages the beneficiaries to request for projects that will help them seek more support from the government.

BFAR recorded a total of 9,236.1 metric tons (MT) unloaded shipments from 2018-2023 and 33.5 MT landed catch. For January 2024, an average volume of 73.8 MT was recorded for the unloaded fish and other fishery aquatic products through shipments.

“We are grateful for the initiative to rebuild the CFLC as it has become a venue for our fish farmers to carry out their fishery activities since it was operated in 2018”, Governor Dominic B. Valera said.

The CFLC stages crucial maneuvers for all inspection, clearance, and inventory of incoming fish and fishery products in compliance with Executive Order 11 s. 2018 issued by the Municipality of Bangued as all shipments of fish and fishery products pass through the facility. This means that the CFLC served as a trading hub for all fishery products in Bangued and nearby municipalities that handle fishery products from various sources while ensuring consumer safety and quality, regulated by BFAR and LGU inspectors.

Chief of the BFAR-CO Fisheries Postharvest and Technology Division, Imelda R. Calixto said establishment of the CFLC across the regions was a dream come true for fisherfolk who have nowhere to land their catch.

Marina B. Blaza, president of the CFFA, said the reconstructed CFLC will highly contribute to the development of the fisheries sector in the province of Abra. “With the association initiative, we will do our best to keep this facility secure, not only for us but together with the nearby communities”, Blaza added.

The reconstruction was the result of the collaborative efforts of BFAR, National Anti-Poverty Commission, the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, the Bangued local government unit, fisherfolk, and partner agencies, sharing the same vision toward poverty alleviation in the fisheries sector through the Targeted Action to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation.

Also present during the unveiling, blessing, and turnover ceremony were staff members of the provincial and municipal governments, a representative from the Philippine Statistics Authority, provincial fisherfolk representative Jerome Baay, and Fr. David Mark P. Taberner who officiated the blessing of the facility. – RF de Vera