DA RFO 8 RD Enriquez thanks Baybay City’s LCE for its all-out support to agriculture and fisheries

“I would like to acknowledge one of the Local Chief Executives (LCEs) in Region 8 who really support agriculture and I salute you on that, Mayor Jose Carlos L. Cari because seldom will you find the kind of LCE who gives all-out support to agriculture and fisheries.” This was revealed by the Department of Agriculture Regional Office 8 Regional Director Angel C. Enriquez during the Ground-breaking Ceremony of the Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Training, Development and Product Display Center held in Sitio Cienda, Barangay Gabas of this city.

It could be recalled that immediately after the consultations with the Punong Barangays, the youth sector, and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on how the local government may help them, Baybay City Mayor Hon. Jose Carlos Cari immediately mandated the assessment of all the resources in the city. “The assessment revealed that we have numerous water impounding areas, thus, we introduced the establishment of upland tilapia fishponds. From only one, we now have five tractors that are used to loosen and break up soil clods at depths below the level of traditional disk harrow, free of charge. We also provided them the tilapia fingerlings and the technical assistance. In return, all that we ask of them is for them to re-invest their income and ensure that their products will reach our public market,” explained Mayor Cari.

As of now, forty (40) upland tilapia fishponds sites, involving 390 individuals, have been established in 30 barangays of the city. They are now providing and addressing the demands for fish in their respective barangays and some of their produce are already being sold at the Baybay City Public Market. Furthermore, Mayor Cari also reminded them that, “For us to sustain this program, we established our own tilapia hatchery and we are now providing fingerlings not only to our tilapia growers but also to that of the nearby municipalities.”

The Baybay City LGU also rehabilitated the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and deployed hundreds of artificial reefs that will serve as breeding grounds for the fish and other marine species. The city, thru its Coastal Resources and Fishery Management Office (CRFMO), also seeded abalone and sea cucumber in nine (9) MPAs to attract more fishes which will eventually lead to the increase in fish catch of the fisherfolks and in the decrease of the price of fish at the Baybay City Public Market. The Coastal Resources and Fishery Management Office (CRFMO) personnel are conducting regular monitoring of the marine protected areas and noticed an increase in the number of fishes and fish species within the municipal waters of the City of Baybay.

And to ensure that the municipal waters of the city will be protected from encroachment, the City of Baybay provided 21 units of fiberglass motorboats to the Bantay Dagat members for them to watch over the MPAs in their respective barangays.

Meanwhile, in order to provide the needed vegetables at the Baybay City Public Market, the city also implemented the Climate-smart Integrated Crop Management. Mayor Cari explained that, “Under this program, the LGU also assisted the farmers in preparing the land for free, provided the seeds, fertilizer, and the technical assistance, through the City Agriculture Office, and just lately the Monterico Farmers Association conducted the “Monterico Farmers Day” which was featured in ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol.”

During the presentation of Mayor Cari in the Adaptive Governance and Innovation for Local Executives (AGILE) Webinar for Local Government Units (LGUs), dubbed as “From Purse to Purpose: Sound Local Financial Management,” on July 12, he revealed that 63 farmer-cooperatives from 22 barangays had benefited from this program. He added that 32 large-scale vegetable producers, in 14 barangays, also received protective structures to ensure the sustainability of vegetables in the market to minimize price increase.

“This program has provided them additional source of livelihood thus, we in the Local Government Unit of Baybay City pray that this program will sustain, through the efforts of the beneficiaries,” explained Mayor Cari.

He also revealed that he mandated the Internal Audit Services (IAS)  of the city to monitor these livelihood programs to ensure that the funds released by the Baybay City LGU indeed served its purpose to the fullest.