Thursday Oct, 01 2020 08:45:22 PM

As promised, Muslim fisher folks of Mati get P500k from MinDA

TIMRA Reports • 09:30 AM Thu Dec 12, 2019
MinDA chair Sec. Manny Piñol
MinDA Sec. Emmanuel Piñol (right) signs MOA Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang as aid to Moro fisher folks. (MinDA photos)

MATI CITY  - Three weeks after I made a drive along the Pacific Rim Highway passing through the provinces of Davao Oriental and Surigao del Sur, I returned to Mati City yesterday to fulfil a promise made to Muslim Kalagan fishermen to provide them small boats for fishing.

The local government organized the "Jamaa," the religious leaders of the 8,000 Kalagan families, into several groups to facilitate the release of assistance provided by the national government under President Rody Duterte.

Under the Pamana Program, the provincial government under Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang facilitated the release of P2.5-M for the construction of a wooden fishing boat.

It will be the first time the Muslim fishermen will own a fishing boat large enough to go beyond the 15-kilometer municipal waters and catch Tuna and high value fish.

But they lacked at least 15 smaller boats called "Pakura" and the training to operate the fishing boat.

During an informal meeting with he Jamaah members beside their fishing boat and under the mangroves, I promised to help them find funds for the small boats.

I called up Director Fathma Idris of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) BFAR Region XI to ask for the supplies needed by the Kalagan fishermen.

But I was told that BFAR funds have all been committed to other projects.

Back home in Davao City, I asked the MinDA staff when we were reviewing our budget utilisation before the end of the year to check if the office had funds which could be given to the Kalagan fishermen.

I also directed the MinDA staff to facilitate the conduct of a financial management and technical training for the members of the group to prepare for the completion of their fishing boat by December.

The staff sifted through the remaining MinDA funds and gathered P500,000, good for about 10 "pakura" fishing boats.

In simple ceremonies yesterday, I signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Gov. Dayanghirang for the transfer of P500,000 to the provincial government which will then turn it over to the Kalagan Jamaah fishermen who will use it to build 10 small fishing boats.

In my long years in public service, I always followed a code of conduct to fulfil promises I make to the ordinary people because I know this will regain their trust and confidence in government.

Little things, little help but these mean a lot to people who have long been neglected by government.

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