Fisheries Committee endorses MOA with BFAR
In its meeting last August 11, 2023, the City Council Committee on Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, chaired by Councilor Christian Rustico M. Achas, approved and endorsed to the Committee on Laws and Rules, chaired by Councilor Edgar S. Cabanlas, for appropriate action the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region-10 covering the implementation of the Fisheries Livelihood Projects under the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK), a nationwide Search for Outstanding Coastal Community in the Country.
According to BFAR representative, the MOA is a requisite to be complied by the City so that it can officially claim its award in the amount of P2 million after earning the top spot in the aforesaid regional search held two years ago.
“For the P2 million award, indicated ni for livelihood projects. The LGU will submit their project proposal katong ga follow sila sa MMK guidelines. With the beneficiaries, it’s up to the LGU kung kinsa ang ilang intended na beneficiary. The award will be given once the MOA and the project proposal have been approved, a check will be given to the LGU,” the representative explained.
When asked whether they have any specific plans, Mr. Larry Sabella, a representative from the Federation of Fisherfolk in Cagayan de Oro City (FEDOFAC), said they have already submitted their project proposal to the City Agriculture Office.
“Ang among proposal ato is fishing nets, and fishing gear… tanan-tanan gamit sa mga mangingisda ug mao na lang siguro ni (MOA) ang gipaabot sa BFAR,” the fisherman cited.
Accordingly, this was confirmed by the City Agriculturist when he pointed out that, “We need this MOA as soon as possible because there seems to be a deadline given by the BFAR and, as a matter of fact, we asked for an extension up to the end of this month. So if possible, we can fast track this because if we can’t do it this month, this fund may revert back to the national.”
The P2 million prize will be equally distributed to a total of 24 groups of fisherfolks specifically for the purchase of their fishing nets and fishing gears, the representative further cited.
As for the inquiry whether an allocation for the purchase of fishing boats shall also be taken from the aforesaid cash award, it was learned that such could not be accommodated due to its high cost.
However, the item can still be acquired through the use of the approved budget of the office which is still on process.
For his part, Councilor Jay R. Pascual said that, as per consultation with the fisherfolks, they only specified for the purchase of fishing nets and other related materials.
With this, he suggested not to alter the budget just to include the purchase of fishing boats as this may only cause delays in the release of the P2 million. Instead, he reiterated the need for the City to finalize and approve the MOA.
Councilor Aga Suan also joined with Pascual’s recommendation pointing out that the P2M is an additional fund to the approved budget of the City Agriculture Office.
“I think those are already part of the budget or even in the projected budget for next year. So the budget for this year and the additional P2 million will actually cover all those requests made by our fisher folks and the ones that will still be requested,” he further pointed out.