Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Regional Office No. 5
San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur
Telefax: (054) 361-2326
Fisherfolk leader of Catanduanes is BFAR's Mangingisdang Direktor
|BFAR -5 Asst. Regional Director Marjurie Grutas turns-over the BFAR Key to Fisherfolk Regional Director Jess Sumayang of San Andres, Catanduanes during the installation ceremonies on May 3, 2011 at the Provincial Capitol Dome in Virac, Catanduanes
Jesus Sumayang of Barangay Asgad, San Andres, Catanduanes is the Fisherfolk Regional Director (FRD) or Mangingisdang Direktor of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Bicol for the whole month of May 2011.
For the first time since its implementation in 2005, the installation of the Mangingisdang Direktor was held at the home province of the elected fisherfolk leader to further promote the program to the community. All of the previous installations of the regional fisherfolk directors were held at BFAR Regional Office in Pili, Camarines Sur.
This fisherfolk empowerment program of BFAR is based on Department of Agriculture Special Order No. 88, series of 2005, dubbed as "Mangingisdang Direktor Para sa Mas Matatag na Balikatan" where national and regional fisherfolk leaders that have been chosen by their fellow fisherfolk leaders shall act as BFAR Director at the national and regional levels for the whole month of May to highlight the Farmers and Fisherfolk Month Celebration.
FRD Sumayang is the Provincial Fisherfolk Representative of Catanduanes and concurrently the Chairperson of the Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Council (MFARMC) of San Andres, Catanduanes and also the chairperson of Asgad Small Fishermen Association.
The installation activities in Virac was highlighted by a motorcade along the major streets of the capital town, release of hot-air balloons and an opening program in Capitol Dome on May 3, 2011 which were participated by the Provincial and Municipal Local Government Unit personnel of Catanduanes, fisherfolk leaders in Bicol and BFAR-5 employees.The ceremonial turn-over of the BFAR key to FRD Jesus Sumayang was officiated by BFAR-5 Assistant Regional Director Marjurie Grutas on behalf of Regional Director Dennis del Socorro. This was witnessed by Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua and San Andres Mayor Antonio Romano.
Likewise, a ceremonial turn-over of an office space for the BFAR Provincial Fisheries Office in Catanduanes by Governor Cua followed. In the afternoon, the Provincial Tilapia Hatchery & Nursery was launched in Simamla, Virac.
Aside from the installation, the week-long celebration in the province was filled withother activities that includeda Provincial MFARMC Conference with the MPDO's, MPDC's, SB Chairs on Agriculture and Fisheries and Mayors and the different national government agencies (NGA's) involved in the formation of FARMCs and a Techno-Fora on Fisheries attended by Municipal Agriculture Officers, Agriculture Technicians, MFARMC chairpersons, students and other sectors of the community. The topics discussed were: the status of coral reef in the Philippines, coral reef rehabilitation using coral reef transplantation with grouper &seaweed cultivation, BFAR-5 food safety &quality assurance for fishery and aquaculture products, and aquaculture technologies on mudcrab culture, mudcrab fattening, and seaweed farming (kappaphycus).Moreover, coastal clean-up was held at Salvacion, San Andres, Catanduanes with participants from the LGU and BFAR-5.
"I was surprised when I was chosen as the Mangingisdang Direktor for this year. Maybe, my love of fishing put me in the position. If I am not a fisherman, I will not be here. I will not forget this experience," Sumayang humbly said in the local dialect.
Annually, BFAR is providing the fisherfolk director with sets of office uniforms, travelling allowance, service vehicle, an office staff and documenter.
Sumayang revealed that his life has changed when he started his stint as Mangingisdang Direktor. He now wears office attire and meets regularly with officials and employees of the government and media personnel. As a mere fisherman, he takes on the role of a BFAR director in the implementation and dissemination of key programs of the agency.
"With my experience here in the office, I can explain now to my fellow fisherfolk that their request for assistance regarding fisheries cannot be easily granted to them because there are procedures to be followed so they just have to wait because the office is also doing its best to help them," Sumayang explained. He hopes that his plan of granting banca and gillnets to the marginalized fisherfolk will soon materialize even if his term comes to an end.
On the other hand, Regional Director Dennis del Socorro engages in community immersion in different parts of Bicol Region while he vacates his office for the fisherfolk director's one month tenure.
The culminating activity will be conducted in Masbate City this June with other activities such as Techno-Caravan and Management Conference of BFAR-5. (kathilotin