P2.5M Mariculture Park Underway in Maribojoc

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) approved the P2.5M grant to the local government of Maribojoc for the development of a Mariculture Park in Maribojoc Bay.

Mayor Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr. convened Tuesday morning the Mariculture Park Executive Management Council (MP-EMC) at the Sangguniang Bayan Session Hall to orient them on their respective tasks and responsibilities. The MP-EMC will over-see the over-all operations of the soon to be implemented Maribojoc Bay Mariculture Park.

Evasco, in his opening message, said, “we all have to work hand in hand with the members of the Sangguniang Bayan in this endeavor. We need complementary legislative measures for the management of the project to execute positive lessons in Maribojoc.”

DA-BFAR RO7’s Mariculture Focal Person, Mr. Edgardo B. Delfin, presented the proposed Mariculture Park/Zone Operations Manual to the MP-EMC members. Delfin and Provincial Fishery Officer Crescencio P. Pahamutang represented DA-BFAR Regional Director Andres M. Bojos.

BFAR has launched various livelihood and income-generating projects nationwide to carry out its mandate. They conceptualized the mariculture park/zone as an aquamarine-based industrial state to promote sound production aquaculture technologies.

Evasco said the mariculture park will have 140 available 5×5 modules open for local investment. He identified the town’s OFWs, their families and beneficiaries as the priority investors for this rent-to-own floating fish cages. Evasco believes overseas workers will have a sustainable future in Maribojoc if they will invest in aquamarine-based projects.

Since the project’s success will entail focus and dedication, Evasco said the MP-EMC will implement strict training and screening regulations with the investors and fish cage caretakers. He plans to invite local banking institutions who can provide individual loans to future investors.

Evasco singled-out BFAR’s expertise and technical assistance as well as the lessons from other mariculture parks as the means to the project’s success. Aside from being an income-generating project, the mariculture park is also seen as a future tourism destination.

The following are the identified project objectives for its implementation: promote mariculture as a major livelihood of coastal fishermen; accelerate socio-economic growth and food security; provide appropriate infrastructures, equipment and support services that will allow fisherfolk to operate cost-effectively and securely; stimulate a favorable investment climate for the mariculture industry and trigger the same for its ancillary industries; and develop skilled and technically-capable fisherfolk to support the mariculture industry. # amjvistal

Maribojoc’s Skilled Workers Organized

Some 135 skilled workers composed of carpenters, masons and laborers converged at the Dr. Abundio A. Echavez Memorial Sports and Cultural Center (DAAEMSCC) Friday morning.

Mayor Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr. Evasco tasked municipal planning and development coordinator (MPDC) Maria Nenita R. Chiu and the manpower center for livelihood enterprise development (MaCLED) officer Jaime Ll. Mabilin to facilitate the organization of all skilled workers in the town.

Evasco said, “The local government recognizes that most of the skilled workers employed outside our town come from Maribojoc; therefore, we need to organize them so that they will have more employment opportunities as their work is not always safe and stable.”

MPDC Chiu facilitated the half-day meeting while chief administrative officer Oscar Francisco E. Valles presented the objectives of the project for all skilled workers. Valles, in his message, cited the significance of skills upgrading to conform to the demands of the construction industry.

“These skills-based people’s organizations will be accredited by our Sangguniang Bayan as well as by the Department of Labor and Employment. Technical and financial assistance from various national and local government agencies as well as non-government and private organizations will be achievable since the skilled workers now belong to a formal association,” Valles declared.

As agreed upon by the general assembly, the skilled workers decided to group themselves into clusters to be able to manage their membership composed of adjacent barangays.

Cluster 1 – Punta Cruz, Guiwanon, Lagtangon, Bood and Dipatlong; Cluster 2 – Jandig, Pagnitoan, San Isidro, Candavid and Tinibgan; Cluster 3 – Bayacabac, Punsod, Anislag and Poblacion; Cluster 4 – Lincod, San Vicente, Aliguay & San Roque; and Cluster 5 – Cabawan, Agahay, Busao and Toril.

The assembly will meet again on February 20 (Sunday) at 9:30 a.m. at the DAAEMSCC; all 400 listed skilled workers are expected to attend. A simultaneous per-cluster election will be conducted before they could work on their requirements for accreditation. The group still has to decide if they will form a federated association or they will focus on stabilizing their newly-organized people’s organizations.

MPDC office staff Ninia C. Alcoseba & Ma. Antoniette C. Baron and MaCLED staff Ivy Jane B. Bacareza assisted Chiu. # amjvistal

DOH Releases P12.265M for Maribojoc Health & Birthing Center

The Department of Health (DOH) through the National Center for Health Facility Development (NCHFD) will release within this first quarter the P12.265M financial assistance to the local government of Maribojoc for its two-storey Municipal Health, Birthing and Day-Care Center.

NCHFD Director III Arch. Ma. Rebecca M. Peñafiel, CESO IV relayed this week to Mayor Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr. that the P8M is for infrastructure, P2M for medical equipment and the remaining P2.265M for indirect costs.

Evasco, who has been working out the financial assistance from DOH as early as April 2009, said, “Minor repairs for the health center are not sufficient since the town has been utilizing the health facility constructed in 1956.”

“The health facility, that has served its purpose for the past 53 years, is now dilapidated and has become insanitary for our health patients,” Evasco added.

The mother of Mayor Evasco, the late Toribia Badilla Evasco, was the town’s pioneering public health nurse and was the one who facilitated and requested the assistance of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for the construction of the health center back in 1956.

The minimal budget allocations of the local government for the minor repairs and maintenance of the existing building made it serviceable. However, clamors of health service providers and patients for its renovation are persistent due to the inconveniences they are experiencing.

The new two-storey building will have health facilities including a birthing facility, an infirmary clinic and a day-care center. It will have enough space for the maternal delivery services and an appropriate room for patients that need to be isolated from patients of common diseases during consultations and medications.

The local government will also procure new medical equipment so that local patients will have access to these facilities without spending much of their hard-earned income. The health center will also include a child-friendly day-care center.

As soon as the funds reach the coffers of the local government and after the bidding and procurement processes will be undertaken, construction of the two-storey building will follow.

The construction of the new health facility is an infrastructure support for the health and children’s development program of the local government. # amjvistal

DA to fund P2M Natural Farming Institute in Maribojoc

Mayor Leoncio B. Evasco, Jr. revealed this good news to officials of people’s organizations, cooperatives and rural improvement clubs during their town-wide evaluation and planning last Tuesday at the Dr. Abundio Echavez Memorial Sports and Cultural Center.

Department of Agriculture (DA) – R7’s regional executive director, Engr. Ricardo D. Oblena, CESO III, said DA secretary Proceso Jaraza Alcala has approved the P2M proposal of the local government for the Maribojoc Organic Farming Systems Development Project (MOFSDP).

The Natural Farming Development Institute will be the training ground for farmers and their families in this LGU initiated integrated community development project on crops, poultry and livestock, organic fertilizer and inland fisheries. This program aims to rehabilitate and use the remaining local farming resources and increase productivity and income of farm families.

The graduates of the farm institute are expected to have their own demo farm in their respective barangays and they will be given start-up capitals. Their produce will be displayed at the proposed ‘Taboan sa Abatan’ organic trading post.

Mayor Evasco personally talked to DA Secretary Alcala about the Natural Farming Institute and he vowed that the project deliverables will materialize and the farm families’ needs met.

“In order for the local government to reduce the incidence of poverty in our barangays, we have to be fully committed in supporting natural farming systems,” Mayor Evasco said.

“Let us teach our unemployed and our out-of-school youth to be keen on farming and agriculture, and our farm families to return to their heritage. We need to put up a school where they will learn entrepreneurship development, agro-forestry management and biodiversity conservation,” he added.

The beneficiaries for the first year of project implementation will be 250 farm families; the number will double in the succeeding years. The ‘learning by doing’ organic farming academy will develop 6 hectares vegetable areas, 180 hectares rice production areas, establish 6 units of organic fertilizer production areas, construct 6 units fish pond for tilapia production and develop farm products landing area.

On the other hand, the P1M Performance Challenge Fund grant given by the Department of Interior and Local Government, in connection with the ‘seal of good housekeeping’ award received by the municipality late last year, will fund the Maribojoc Integrated Resources and Management Program.

Maribojoc, a fourth class municipality whose overall good housekeeping index totalled 4.75, was acknowledged for the town’s efforts in the promotion of transparency, accountability and good governance. # amjvistal