Photo Caption: ALDAW TI PANAGKALAP: Beneficiaries of the program entered the fishpond to harvest cultured tilapia using harvest nets during the Ceremonial Harvest segment of the program. This allowed the fisherfolk to showcase the harvest process, which was appreciated by all festival attendees. Chief Aquaculturist Fermin, Tublay Mayor Engr. Armando I. Lauro, and Municipal Agriculturist Engr. Jeffrey D. Sotero, along with SAAD Personnel and beneficiaries, pose for a photo during the ongoing tilapia harvest.


DACLAN, Tublay

The municipality of Tublay in Benguet has achieved a remarkable feat! True to its tagline, “Siged Tublay,” which translates to being resilient and adaptive, the recipients of the BFAR-Special Area for Agricultural Development Program (SAAD-Phase 2) have successfully produced marketable size tilapia from the project inputs provided for the Tilapia Culture in Ponds. This achievement comes after a fourmonth culture period from the initial stocking of fingerlings conducted on April 4.

To showcase the result of the project, an “Aldaw ti Panagkalap” or harvest festival was orchestrated at the 150 sqm fishpond owned by Mr. Vincent Bero, a member of the Fisherfolk Organization of
Daclan (FOOD). With 750 pcs fingerlings and 7.7 bags of fish feed, 95 kgs was harvested which was then sold at a farm gate price of 140 pesos per kilogram, resulting in an impressive earnings of at least 13,000 pesos for him.

Highlighting resilience, Chief Aquaculturist Lois June Fermin commended both FOOD and the Ambongdolan Fisherfolk Association (AFA). Despite the challenges posed by the monsoon weather, they managed to participate in the festivity. In her address, she delved into the rarity of fisheries in the Cordilleras, such as Tublay. She then underscored the bureau’s purpose and the introduction of
the SAAD program with the intention of fostering sustainable development, aiming to eliminate hunger, ensure food security, enhance nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Chief Aquaculturist Fermin emphasized that fisheries play a pivotal role in maintaining a balanced nutrition. Complementing the Cordillerans’ livestock rearing and crop cultivation, she said that fisheries will contribute significantly. As integral members of their communities, individuals can contribute to the fullest extent with a balanced intake brought about by all of these factors. Meanwhile, Tublay Mayor Engr. Armando I. Lauro graced the event. (use active voice) He took the opportunity to congratulate the fisherfolk not only for achieving a good harvest but also for
successfully cultivating tilapia in their respective barangays.

Significantly, this marks the first time that Sitio Chagao and Barangay Ambongdolan have ventured into fish farming, making it indeed fitting for a festival, as envisioned by the purpose of the activity.
Following Mayor Lauro’s congratulations, Municipal Agriculturist Engr. Jeffrey Sotero also exclaimed, “You are the best,” applauding both the implementers and the program’s recipients. This compliment is well-deserved considering the current outcome – marketable and high-quality tilapia – which stands as a testament to the success of the project.

In his message, Mayor Lauro emphasized that the program is designed to yield prompt results due to its immediate interventions. He further noted that, through observation, this project aligns
exceptionally well with Tublay’s needs, serving as a climate resilient livelihood initiative. In contrast to the past, where a typical fish farming culture period lasted six months, it is delightful to witness the reduction of the culture period to a minimum of four months. FOOD Vice President
Romel Baoed likewise shared his refreshing response.

He recounted that initially, when the project was introduced, his wife disapproved, considering
it a waste of time. However, the situation has taken a complete turn. He proudly mentioned that his wife is now the first person to enthusiastically reel in fish. Expressing gratitude for the project, Baoed acknowledged that despite having a smallsized pond, the festival has provided him with
encouragement to broaden his horizons. He expressed intentions to expand both in terms of the area dedicated to fish farming and his knowledge in the field.

During the festival, the two organizations received additional postharvest equipment which include 10 pieces of crates, two units of 10-kg capacity weighing scales, one unit of a 60-kg capacity weighing scale, and five units 10-m harvest nets. In Tublay, the combined pond area for both groups totals 4,600 sqm, stocked with a total of 23,000 fingerlings. Following this festival, the
harvest from the remaining 4,450 sqm pond areas will be done in the upcoming days.

After the program, a boodle fight, which was given meaning to as a symbol of camaraderie and unity, was arranged, with grilled tilapia as the star attraction. This spread was enjoyed by all attendees including Assistant SAAD Program Coordinator Naela Bilag, PFO-Benguet Project Assistant Arnold Noces, and PCIC Representative Ms. Rose Tanacio.

Amianan Balita Ngayon