By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY, 7Jan2014 (BicolToday.com) – The vulnerability of Barangay Cambulaga from natural disaster prompted the Barangay Council to seek assistance from the Department of Agriculture after they became recipient of a 10hp engine during the First Regional Consultative Meeting of Cooperatives held here last December.
Taking the cue from Secretary Proceso Alcala, who promised to release two fishing boats to qualified beneficiaries, the council endorsed the Cambulaga Fisherfolks Association (CAMFISA) project proposal for their “Tahongan Project”, basically a prime livelihood of the community.
Cambulaga, as bounded by Sorsogon Bay, has seen the best and worst of life. Considered as one of the high risk areas in the City, their dependence on the abundance of marine life for most of the inhabitants are marginal fisher-folks.
From red tide to typhoons destroying their “tahong industry”, the low pricing of their products is as common as finding a kilo of rice for a meal.
The council wants a change for good. This was revealed by Barangay Chair Teresa Perdigon in a meeting with Representative Anthony Bravo.
In a dialog with Congressman Bravo of COOP-NATCCO, they were informed that the Department of Agriculture has the funds ready for release this year, seek assistance from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture and the City Agriculture Office on how to prepare a feasibility study, that their people’s organization (CAMFISA), must be registered with a local legislative body, that the memberships are residents of the barangay, and are fisher-folks to avail the funding from the Agriculture department.
Data can be sourced from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, including the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, line agencies of the Agriculture department, the provincial and municipal planning offices, which the congressman believes is readily available.
The feasibility study must be viable as to income sustainability, market demands, productivity for members and should maximize resources from national agencies. It should be in-line with national livelihood strategies that will enhance capability programs of marginalized sector, certain criteria which the barangay council is not aware of.
Referring to his notes, Bravo informed them that the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) included Region 5 as their priority area, and it is a good fund source.
He said that it is now a developmental program, not the restrictive method of recussing certain areas for funding. He urged them to be listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) which can include them in resource allocation of other national agencies, such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in its mangrove re-greening and preservation.
It was an assurance that the district representatives and the three partylist solons of Sorsogon, including the provincial leadership and local chief executives are doing their shares to enhance productivity of the province for a concerted effort taking root among them, was how Representative Bravo viewed the linkages with the stakeholders of Sorsogon. [BicolToday.com]