Local kids enjoying their catch of sea urchins, known to be abundant in Siquijor Island. (rac/PIA7-Siquijor)

Nat’l awarding of outstanding coastal area set in Siquijor

Siquijor province was chosen as the venue for the national awarding of  “Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan” (MMK), which is the search for the country’s oustanding coastal community by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-7).

BFAR-7 is hosting the national awarding on July 19, 2019. 

This will be attended by high-ranking government executives, regional directors, and local officials, among others.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol is attending the awarding ceremony of the MMK program which is known as his brainchild.

Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona is also expected to participate.

BFAR-7 Director Alfeo Piloton said the working committee is now gearing up for the big event. 

Piloton said this is the first time that the national awarding will be held outside of Malacañang upon the request of Piñol. 

“Originally, the awarding is organized at the Malacañang, but this time, it will be on a provincial setting,” he said. 

At least 130 units of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boats will be distributed to the marginal fishermen in the province as part of the MMK awarding.

This, Piloton said, is a fulfillment of Piñol’s promise to the province which he earlier committed to the small-scale fishermen.

He said Pres. Rodrigo Duterte was earlier reported to attend the event, thus a separate program was laid out in case he will be in attendance. 

“Right now, there is a 90 percent chance that he will not attend the event. But if he changes his mind on the last minute, at least we are prepared,” he said.

Piloton said the working committee is also taking into account the possible weather conditions on that day with the development of tropical depression “Falcon” so that contingency plans on sea transportation are also being readied.

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