In a simple ceremony, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Palawan Field Office awarded Php500,000.00 to Barangay Local Government Unit of Santa Cruz, Puerto Princesa City as Accredited Co-Partner (ACP) for the livelihood project of Pag-Asa ng Pag-Unlad Association last August 23, 2019 at DOLE Palawan Field Office, San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City. This is to fund the association’s livelihood project “Bangus Culture in Floating Net Cages” located in Barangay Santa Cruz. The group has 29 members whose sole livelihood is through fishing.

DOLE Palawan Field Office Head Luis B. Evangelista endorsed the check to Santa Cruz Punong Barangay Myrna B. Dalag and witnessed the other Barangay officials of the barangay, officers and members of Pag-Asa ng Pag-Unlad Association. Pag-Asa ng Pag-Unlad President Mr. Jun Jun Bumalay was also present during the awarding.

In his statement, Mr. Evangelista wished association to run their business with passion and dedication in order to have more income and provide more source of livelihood to their members and in the near future. “I challenge you to run your livelihood well so that more of your members will benefit from it and for the DOLE to provide livelihood enhancement to your group. Let us take care of the trust provided to us”, he added.

Realizing the possible government assistance to the marginalized fisherfolks in their community, the association applied for kabuhayan assistance of DOLE to uplift their members from poverty as well as contribute to fish production through aquaculture of in the province and lessen the pressure of overfishing in Honda Bay, the source of fish catch in the City of Puerto Princesa.

Heeding the challenge of DOLE, Mr. Bumalay thanked the department for this opportunity given to them. He said that they will do their best to sustain the livelihood fund entrusted to them. “The association is committed to effectively and efficiently implement the proposed project in accordance with the guidelines and plan stipulated in the submitted proposal. Also, the funds provided by DOLE will be spent wisely with proper management. Cooperation among members is assured and all officers will work hand in hand and perform our duties and responsibilities to attain success and sustainability of the project”, he said.

As ACP of the project of the association, Brgy. Santa Cruz will facilitate the release of funds from DILEEP kabuhayan Program of DOLE and is committed to help the group in all the official transactions related to the project. Likewise, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Regional Fisheries Training and Fisherfolk Coordination Division (BFAR-RFTFCD) pledged their support to help the association in their livelihood project by providing technical expertise and training during the its operation to ensure success of bangus cage culture and other marine aquaculture species.

End/Renell G. Mayo