More than 1,700 kilos of bangus were harvested in Sitio Bagong Silang, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte, wherein a bangus farming project sponsored by Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) subsidiary Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC) is located.
“This is a big achievement for us small fisherfolk, because the lockdown has limited our movements in the community and the bangus helped many of us during this quarantine,” said President of the United Fisherfolk Association of Bagong Silang (UFAOBS) in the Municipality of Tagana-An. Lilibeth G. Becera was quoted in a report.
Records from Philippine Statistics Association (PSA) have shown that the country’s fisheries subsector has been experiencing a steady decline due to various reasons, including the oil price hike.
Resident Mine Manager, Engr. Francisco J. Arañes, Jr., of The Community Relations team (ComRel) of HMC started working with UFAOBS and decided to fund the bangus project which was officially launched in January 2020.
“It is a showcase of an ideal team effort in a responsible mining community – the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources or the BFAR, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau or the MGB, and the dedication and hard work of the members of UFAOBS. We are all proud and thankful for the success of this bangus project,” shares Arañes.
HMC’s Community Organizer Allan O. Bandoy, Jr said the actual catch is 1,734 kilos.
The project took almost all year to finalize the details of the feasibility study that the members of UFABOS studied with commitment.
“The timing could not be more perfect, we didn’t know last year that COVID-19 will hit and that community quarantine will restrict the movements of our fisherfolk and everyone in the community so we are glad we started this project when we did,” explained Antonio “Jay-R” Resuera, Jr., HMC ComRel Manager.
“Going forward, all the income in future harvests will be split into two, one half will be divided among the members of UFAOBS and the other half will be put back to the coffer of the people’s organization so their business will grow bigger,” added Resuera.