Casco boats from PRDP to advance Panganiban, Catanduanes’ mangrove crab industry
PANGANIBAN, CATANDUANES – Creating Road of Advanced Bureaucracy (CRAB). This is a catchphrase describing the Municipality of Panganiban, a fifth class municipality located approximately one hour and 30 minutes away from Virac, the provincial capital. Being a major source of “King” type crablets, Panganiban aims to become the province’s crab capital by translating its local crab industry into a booming business enterprise.
The Philippine Rural Development Project in Bicol (PRDP-Bicol) is likewise convinced of the municipality’s development thrust. On July 26, 2018, the PRDP Deputy Project Director Shandy Hubilla of the Project Support Office (PSO) South Luzon, together with a team from PRDP-Bicol travelled to the municipality to deliver 40 casco boats to the Panganiban Fisherfolk Association, Inc. (PFA). This is part of the P6.78 million-worth Mangrove Crab Production and Marketing Enterprise.
“Saindo na po ining project. Urgolyo iyan na kamo digdi sa Panganiban ang mag-escosar na maging capital kita kang mangrove crab na masiramon (This project is yours. It is your pride to exert efforts toward becoming the capital of this delicious mangrove crab),” Hubilla said, claiming that the crablet in Panganiban locally known as “kinis” is the tastiest crab he ever tried.
He further encouraged the association to work together for the sustainability of the enterprise subproject.
The casco boats will benefit 80 PFA members engaged in mangrove crab production. A pre-bid conference was also conducted for the trading center to be constructed in Brgy. San Vicente in Panganiban. It is designed to systematize production, buying, and marketing of the marketable-sized crabs produced by PFA.
One of the member-beneficiaries of the Mangrove Crab Production and Marketing Enterprise subproject is Alma Morales, a mangrove crab gatherer for 23 years. A fisherman’s wife and mother to 11 children, Alma starts her day at 3 a.m and walks for 10 minutes daily to reach the aquasilvi farm and spends at least five hours there to feed and gather her stocks. Oftentimes, she rents a non-motorized boat for P100 per day to gather mangrove crabs and sells them to market buyers.
“Nagpapasalamat po ako sa suporta ng PRDP sa pamamagitan ng bangka na yan at sa pagkakaroon ng trading center. Makakatulong po ito ng malaki kasi ang mga bangka nandyan na naghihintay na sa daungan hindi tulad noon na kung kailan nakahanda na kami ng pain at sagwan tapos wala na kaming marerentahan na bangka kasi puno na. Hindi na rin kami maghahanap pa ng buyer (I am grateful for PRDP’s support by giving us these boats and for funding our trading center. It will greatly help us because there will be boats for us to use at the port unlike before although we’re ready with our bait and paddle, we can’t gather mangrove crabs because there are no available boats. Also, with the trading center, we don’t have to chase our buyers),” Morales said.
She added that the casco boats will be very useful in site preparation, feeding and crablet gathering.
“Masuwerte ang Panganiban na tayo ang may asosasyon na nakapaloob sa crab. Ang tanging hangad ko lang na sana maumpisahan ng tama ang programa na naibigay sa atin ng national government at mabiyayaan ang ating bayan na magkaroon ng hanap-buhay tungkol sa alimango. Sa tulong ng PRDP, OPAG at sa tulong ng PFA siguro maipagpapatuloy natin ang crab grow-out dito sa Panganiban (Panganiban is lucky for having an association that engages in crab production. My only wish is that this program from the national government will be started correctly so it will benefit our municipality by providing crab-related livelihood activities. With the help of PRDP, OPAG and PFA, we hope to sustain the crab grow-out in Panganiban),” Mayor Robert A. Fernandez remarked.
The PFA president Jesus Ceballo hopes that through the enterprise development project, the organization will be known as a supplier of high quality crabs which will also provide higher income for the gatherers.
Moreover, part of PFA’s sustainability plan is requiring the member-beneficiaries to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and Supply Contract to be able to purchase more boats in the future.
The Mangrove Crab Production and Marketing Enterprise is one of the four enterprise subprojects in Catanduanes funded under PRDP. ### Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V