MMDC builds fish dryer facility to improve fisher folks’ income
FISH DRYER FACILITY. Barangay Chairman Ramil Flores of General Islands, Cantilan town, joins Community Relations personnel of Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation headed by ComRel Manager Nancy Baldoza during the turn-over of the fish dryer facility that will benefit some 61 fishermen.
PANIKIAN, Carrascal, Surigao del Sur - The fisherfolks of General Islands start their day like clockwork. According to Brgy. Chairman Ramil Flores, the day’s catch must be sold immediately. If possible, as soon they arrive from high seas to avoid spoilage.
General Islands fisherfolk sell their catch at Cantillan town center, almost an hour away from the island. Since they travel far, spoilage is very common, thereby depriving the islanders of much-needed income. Imagine wasting the grueling hours, toiling the vastness of the waters only to lose income from spoilage.
"Kasagaran, amo gajod jaon an mahitabo labi na kon dabo an isda. Iuli rakan nila ang dubok na isda pagbalik (Spoilage often happens if the catch is huge. They return home with the spoiled fish)," the barangay official said.
Flores and his colleagues in the Barangay Council found a solution by constructing a fish dryer, using the village's Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) funds from Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation (MMDC).
General Islands is one of MMDC's 33 "non-mining" barangays, with an annual allocation of PHP100,000 which can be used to fund a priority project.
Chairman Flores said the fish dryer would benefit 61 fishermen. Instead of losing income from spoilage they can preserve their catch and extend the shelf life. The fish can stay fresh even if they sell it at a later time.
The beneficiaries, he said, represent at least 80 percent of the households consisting of the island's 1,800 population.
Flores and MMDC Community Relations Department, headed by ComRel Manager Nancy Baldoza attended the formal turn-over of the fish dryer facility on September 20, 2018.
"Nagpasalamat gajod kami sa MMDC nan ini na project kay hamok gajod an makabenisyo niini (We really thank MMDC because many will benefit from this project)," the barangay official said.
Before the construction of the fish dryer, Flores recalled that residents would often dry their catch on unhygienic surfaces, resulting in poor quality products.
With the fish dryer, he said the barangay could also earn by charging PHP20 per kilo of fish for the maintenance of the facility.
"Dili na gajod mabiro na madubok pa an isda, kay pwede da ibuyad sanan ibaligya sa taas pa na presyo (Now we don't have to worry about spoilage anymore. We can just sun-dry the fish and sell them on even higher price)," the barangay official said.