By: Estrella Z. Gallardo
Zamboanga Peninsula, sardines capital of the Philippines continually ensure the abundant supply of sardines
An administrative circular on sardines was implemented by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
Dubbed as “sardines closed season”, the circular prohibits the killing,catching,selling buying of even possessing any sardines caught from East Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait, and Sibugey Bay.
Affected fisherfolk who are dependent on sardines can instead, during the closed season, avail themselves of altenative livelihood assistance provided by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region IX and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
The closed season has been implemented since 2010 and runs from November 1 to February 1 each year. During this period, BFAR provides fisherfolk the option to cultvate seaweed by providing seaweed seedlings, seaweed farm, as well as postharvest facilities including a smokehouse, elevated fish solar dryers, and seaweed stilt dryers.
Moreover, BFAR encourages fisherfolk to plant mangrove trees as part of their target of planting more than one million mangrove trees in Zamboanga Peninsula. Each mangrove propagules planted can be monetized from BFAR.
Meanwhile, Dole implemented the kabuhayan program, which promotes entrepreneurship through training and provision of livelihood tools.
“Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged Workers (Tupad) Program” is another initiative of DOLE, which provides displaced, underemployed, and unemployed workers with emergency employment for a minimum of 10 days and maximum of 30 days. Only one member of the household can avail of this program. (PSciJourn MegaManila)