October 2, 2023

ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao – Almost one metric ton of tilapia was harvested from the high density polyethylene (HDPE) cage a year after it was installed at the Magat Dam.

The 55-member Sto. Domingo Fisherfolk and Farmers Association, recipient of the circular cage worth P5.1 million, is the third association to harvest their produce.

“From this harvest, we plan to organize and improve our association because we want that each member can learn how to manage the project. We are not after the profit but to establish a strong organization toward enterprise development,” said association president Diosdado Bernal.

He urged his fellow fisherfolk to use the resource responsibly by strengthening and continuously building camaraderie among the members.

The harvested tilapia was transported to Mountain Province through the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Fish on Wheels.

Alfonso Lista Mayor Edralin B. Alipio said he is glad to be part of this effort. “I was here. I witnessed everything from the launching and stocking last December. Today, I saw how these fisherfolk reap their harvest as a result of a successful project,” he said.

 “We are here to disperse government efforts toward fish sufficiency and inclusively uplifting the lives of fisherfolk communities especially here in Ifugao where the Magat Dam is situated,” International Fund for Agricultural Development-FAS Chief Imelda R. Ca-lixto said. 

She added there is a need to establish an ice plant facility to cater to the need of fisherfolk during harvest.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cordillera Director Lilibeth L. Signey said livelihood projects responsibly and sustainably managed proved recipients are serious about the livelihood intervention.

“While we help you generate livelihood opportunities, do not forget to conserve and protect our resources for the next generation,” Signey said.

National Irrigation Administration-Magat River Integrated Irrigation System Representative Bjorn B. Avena expressed appreciation for a job well done.

“Since NIA is now under the Department of Agriculture, we expect partnership with BFAR will foster stronger collaboration in the future,” Avena said.

Philippine Statistics Authority-Ifugao Chief Statistical Specialist Delano C. Bolislis said in terms of production data gathering, one of the activities is a quarterly survey of inland fisheries in aquaculture.

“We processed the data and verified it from the respondents. Mostly, the interventions of BFAR helped increase the production in Ifugao,” Bolislis said.

Philippine Information Agency-Ifugao Information Center Manager Marcelo Lihgawon also shared the importance of promoting government interventions through proper documentations and publications in the different media platforms. – Rodelyn Foronda