Monday, February 28, 2011

Php10 million fish cage livelihood to benefit Casiguran fisherfolks-Alcala

CASIGURAN, Aurora, February 28, 2011-Casiguran fishermen and indigenous Dumagats here will benefit from a P10-million fish cage livelihood project in Casiguran mariculture park which was initiated by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said that a total of 32 fish cages will be installed by the DA-BFAR at the Casiguran mariculture park through the initiative of Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Congressman Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara and Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo.

He said that the fish cage features a new design as devised by BFAR called as Alcala fish cage model where bangus and sea cucumber will be raised at the same time, adding that the Bangus will be raised on the top cage, while the sea cucumber will be at the bottom where they will serve as ‘bio filters’ or eaters of surplus feed and wastes of bangus.

Alcala said that every three months, each fish cage is expected to produce at least four tons or 4,000 kilos saying that at the current farmgate price of bangus in Casiguran of P90 per kilo, the fish cage beneficiaries will earn a gross income of P360,000 per harvest.

During the project launch at Casiguran pier, Alcala explained that BFAR wants the small fishermen and the Dumagats to directly benefit from this fish cage livelihood project, saying that we want to change and transform their lives for the better.

“Every two (2) weeks, we will train them to stock and to harvest bangus on a rotation basis so that they will earn a steady income year-round and assist them up to the marketing stage,” Alcala said, adding that they will also put up a mini ice plant with a three-ton capacity to provide the ice requirements of the harvested bangus during transport to markets in Aurora province and nearby provinces such as Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya.

The DA will also provide a refrigerated truck courtesy of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).
Earlier, Alcala led the ceremonial stocking of bangus fingerlings and turnover of the initial batch of fish cages to the beneficiaries composed of small fishermen and Dumagats. (Jason de Asis)

Pimentel eyes raps vs Ochoa, Soliman over gov’t CCT program

CABANATUAN CITY, Nueva Ecija, February 28, 2011-Former Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr., who authored the Local Government Code, said he will file a petition to the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the government from implementing the controversial conditional cash transfer (CCT) with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the implementing agency.

During the barangay good governance seminar, Pimentel said that he will file a petition for certiorari with the SC this week to compel the government to stop the DSWD from pushing through with the CCT. He said the petition will name as respondents Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa and DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman.

Pimentel said he is not against the CCT per se but he opposed the DSWD being the lead agency to implement. He said the government should let the local government units to handle the program.

“I am not opposing the CCT although I have reservations about it because I fear it’s a dole-out but the LGUs should be the one to handle it, not the DSWD,” he said. “Afterall, it is the LGUs which have the capability to determine which of the families belong to the poor,” he said.

Pimentel said that the LGC has effectively devolved the functions of the DSWD and national government agencies to LGUs and to let the DSWD handle the program is like reverting to the old set-up.

“Besides who is in the best position to determine the level of poverty in the place, is it the LGU and the barangays,” he asked.

He said by letting the DSWD to run the show, it will defeat the spirit and purpose of genuine autonomy, adding that the DSWD’s plan to tap 4,000 people to implement the program is highly questionable. “Imagine you will hire 4,000 peolple just for that? I don’t think it’s practical,” he said. (Jason de Asis)

Zubiri distributed Php8 million PDAF in Tarlac towns

TARLAC CITY, February 28, 2011-A total of Php8 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Senator Juan Miguel  Zubiri was distributed to several towns in Tarlac for the constructions, repairs and rehabilitation of various school buildings and multi-purpose facilities.

The beneficiaries of the One Town, One Project in Tarlac are the municipalities of San Miguel, Anao, Gerona, Paniqui, Ramos, Victoria, San Jose and La Paz where a brief ceremonial turnover of SARO (Special Allotment Release Order) was conducted by Local chief executives led by Governor Victor Yap and Zubiri at the provincial Capitol.

Zubiri said that it is an important day in the history and he is honored to commemorate EDSA day in Tarlac where the icon of democracy like former President Corazon Aquino, and President Noynoy Aquino started where he encouraged the youth to be "little Cory" of their generation upon visiting the graduation ceremony of Grade 1 and Day Care teachers from Paniqui and Gerona.

After remembering EDSA in Tarlac, Zubiri proceeded to Angeles City, Pampanga as part of a nationwide search for students who excel in academic and civic activities where he launched leadership excellence awards project for high school and elementary students in partnership with the JCI (Junior Chamber Incorporated) dubbed as the “Young Leaders Excellence Awards." (Jason de Asis)


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