PANGLAO, Bohol – Officials here came in rescue of fisherfolk who are badly affected by red tide impact even for the meantime. In an exclusive interview, Mayor Leonila Montero of this town disclosed that she directed the municipal social welfare office to procure and start repacking rice supply to be distributed to the affected families who may not be able to g to the sea due to the ban on catching, selling and eating shellfish imposed by the Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) recently.
The mayor said that she made a point that the distribution of repacked rice stuff will not take place at the barangay where there are red tide affected fisherfolk.
She said that the beneficiaries are requested go to the municipal hall to claim their share. The beneficiaries are identified following the conduct of verification process not just anybody could claim, she explained.
She said that the distribution of food packs had already been carried last week.
Fish vendors here expressed disgust over inclusion of this town in the red tide alert issued by the Bureau of Fishries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) recently.
Mrs. Leoncia Liquit, 52, and a resident here, said in exclusive interview that this town should haven’t included in the said alert since only the town of Dauis has been found to have affected with red tide.
She said that the alert has cause decline on her sales since several customers avoided to buy shellfish and even hesitant to buy some fish. Some of them (customers) preferred to buy meat instead of fish or shellfish, she added. But despite the warning she still managed to display some fish including sea urchin (tuyom) in a bottle for a living.
Another fish vendor, Cecilia Calipay, who has been and still is vending fish and shellfish for almost three decades, lamented over the red tde warning. She said in vernacular that if Panglao’s shellfish contains no red tide why include it in the alert. Like all other fish vendors, she lost income since custmers avoided to buy fish.
Fish vendor Genara Aragon, 27, said that she’s still selling parrot fish (Molmol) and crabs (Lambay) during the interview to make both end meet. Like the rest at the public market here, her sales also diminished.
There were no more shellfish of any kind were on display yesterday. This town is famed for its rich marine resources including the costly “saang” shellfish that priced at Php500/kilo.
Ms. Fe Alamo, 52, also a fish vendor for almost 20 year already as her main source of livelihood, said that the alert on red tide also serves right as a precautionary measure.
She bared that when the ban on harvesting, selling and eating shellfish took effect, all the shellfish on display on the very day were set aside. And the shellfish were cooked by the vendors concerned and ate them. But thanks, she said, nothing in those shellfish that showed signs of red tide affectation.
BFAR earlier said that monitoring of shellfishes that are affected with red tide within Dauis and other coastal areas in the province, will likely last for a month or more, assistant regional director Allan Poquita said last week. The BFAR statement is apparently implying that prohibition on harvesting, selling, transporting and eating would last for a period of one month since the issuance of the “red alert” on red tide.