TACLOBAN CITY – A small coastal town in Southern Leyte bagged Php 30 million worth of livelihood programs and projects as a prize for winning the 2018 Search for the Cleanest Coastal Community of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Friday (July 19).
The town of Macrohon bested 12 regional winners, which also received Php 2 million each.
The “Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan Awards (MMK)” awarding ceremony was held in Siquijor province.
Alaminos City, Pangasinan won 2nd place with Php 18 million while Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte won 3rd place with a Php 10 million prize.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the winners were chosen based on five criteria: No garbage or wastes floating in the coastal area; No illegal fishing activities; A declared Closed Fishing Season every year; A declared Marine Sanctuary; and A protected Mangrove forest area.
The MMK started in 2016 as part of the Secretary’s advocacy for sustainable fishing all over the country.
According to him, the program is among those which contributed to the positive growth of the fisheries sector of 1.04% in 2018 after decades of negative performance.
BFAR 8 Regional Director Juan Albaladejo lauded the efforts of the local government unit of Macrohon, in partnership with BFAR in order to achieve the award.
“All the hard work has finally borne fruit from a consistent runner up from last two stages of the MMK National search, now Eastern Visayas has finally gotten what it deserves,” he said.
“We should not just rest on these laurels but continue our relentless effort to empower both the coastal municipalities and its fisherfolk,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mayor Alan Aroy thanked his constituents for ensuring that their Solid Waste Management ordinance is being implemented well, particularly in seas, rivers and marine sanctuaries.