Gov’t awards P100M to cleanest coastal villages
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said President Rodrigo Duterte is set to award today over P100 million in livelihood funds to several seaside communities all over the country who have maintained cleanliness in their fishing grounds.
Piñol said the livelihood windfall for the coastal communities is part of the annual search for the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) Program started during the administration of President Duterte.
During the awarding ceremony to be held in Malacañang today, Duterte will also acknowledge and award the winners of the annual Gawad Saka or the search for the Outstanding Farmers and Agriculture stakeholders of the country.
A project of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, MMK aims to promote sustainable and responsible fishing in the face of continued illegal fishing activities resulting to dwindling catch by marginal fisher folk.
The winning coastal towns must meet the following criteria set by the national selection committee of the MMK to qualify.
To qualify, there must be no reported cases of illegal fishing in the area; there must be a declared and protected marine sanctuary; the town must have a well-managed and protected mangrove area; the town must have a self-imposed closed fishing period during the spawning season of the fish species found in its fishing rounds; and that there must be no floating trash or dirty water flowing from factories or processing plants into the coastal waters and fishing grounds.
Undersecretary Eduardo Gongona, BFAR national director, said the winning towns will also be supported by the bureau with fiberglass fishing boats, fish-landing and ice-making facilities.
Last year’s winners were Cortes, Surigao del Sur, first place; Palompon, Leyte, second place; and Calatagan, Batangas, third place.