We Are A Tuna Highway: Gov Dayanghirang

Governor Dayanghirang leads the turn-over of fishing implements and fishing boat to a fisherfolk organization.

City of Mati, Davao Oriental — The province being blessed with the longest coastline in Mindanao, Davao Oriental Governor Nelson Dayanghirang told a huge gathering of local fishers and farmers here that the province is the “Tuna Highway” in the country which offers a vast potential for fishing and aquamarine activities.

“Remember nga ang atong kadagatan sa Davao Oriental mao ang gitawag nga tuna highway. Apan ang nakapahimolos sa atong kadagatan mao ang mga taga laing dapit, partikular ang taga General Santos City. Kita intawon nga taga Davao Oriental, tungod kay wala kitay kapasidad og wala kitay mga dagkong panagat, nagpabilin ta nga managat sa daplin ra sa dagat. Wala ta kaadto sa mga lagyong lugar nga asa tua ang mga dagkong mga isda sama sa tuna. Mao kana nga atong gihangyo ang regional og national office sa fisheries nga unta tagaan kita og suporta nga ang atong mga mangingisda mamahimong dagko nga fishermen sa umaabot nga panahon. Dili puwede nga magpabilin kita nga mag agwanta sa mga gagmay nga kuha og ang mga langyaw maoy naka benepisyo ngari sa atong dapit. (Remember that our province is now called the Tuna Highway. But those who exploit and benefit from our rich fishing grounds are those who come from other places like fishermen from the General Santos City. Our ill-equipped local fishers cannot exploit our fishing grounds because they don’t have the capacity to reach the high seas where the tuna fish are owing to their small fishing boats that hinders them from venturing to the high seas. So our poor local fishermen are left fishing only along the shallow shorelines. That is why we asked both the regional and the national offices of the fisheries to help equip our local fisherfolk so they can compete with those outsiders who use large fishing vessels. We want our local fishers to make it big in the future. We cannot allow this to continue. We will not settle for a measly fish catch. We will not allow those outsiders to exploit and benefit from our very own rich fishing grounds),” says Governor Nelson Dayangirang during a local celebration marking the month of May as farmers and fisherfolk’s month.

Governor Dayanghirang

Embrace New Technology

The governor, however, asked the local farmers to embrace new technologies being offered by the Department of Agriculture, stressing that the modern technologies and techniques would fuel growth especially in rice farming. Governor Dayanghirang says that as the population grows and farming land dwindles, more efficient means of producing crops are needed. Studies have shown that rice farm operations can increase net income through higher yield and reduce cost by mechanization alone. The governor says that this is indeed promising and efforts have been made to modernize local farming to make it globally competitive, environmentally friendly, and climate change-resilient.

“Kamong mga mag-uuma og kamong mga mangingisda maoy naghatag og supply sa adlaw-adlaw nga pagkaon og panginahanglan sa atong mga kaigsoonan, partikular ngari sa atong probinsya. Apan pait kayo paminawon, og atong tan awon basi sa datus, nga ang atong mga mag-uuma mokita lamang halos kuwatro hangtud singko mil matag bulan. Mao kana nga ang atong gobyerno nagpakabana. Anaa ang dakong pagtabang sa atong gobyerno sa atong mga mag-uuma og mangingisda arun matabangan ang ilang income. Adunay mga bag-ong programa sa atong gobyerno apan sa akong tan-aw, adunay gamay nga problema. Number one, adunay pagdumili sa mga pipila ka mga mag-uuma nga i-adopt ang bag-ong mga teknolohiya sa atong Department of Agriculture. Ang akong hangyo sa atong mga mag-uuma nga ang tumong og tinguha sa atong gobyerno nga matagaan kamo og mas dakong income, nga unta tagaan ninyo og kahigayunan nga masulayan og dawaton ang mga bag-ong teknolohiya nga gihatag sa atong gobyerno. Labaw sa tanan, pinaka importante sa atong mga mag-uuma og mangingisda nga dili lamang kita magpabilin nga usa ka mag-uuma, usa ka ordinaryong mangingisda, apan tun-an nato og unsaon ma maximize nato ang pag utilize sa atong yuta nga mas modako pa ang income sa atong mag-uuma. (You, farmers and fishers, are the ones who supply the daily food requirements of our people especially in the province. But it is unfortunate indeed that based on data, our farmers only earn a measly sum of P4,000 to P5,000 a month. That is why the government aims to address this concern. The government is extending assistance to our farmers and fishers to improve their income. The government has new programs but I spotted a small problem. Number one is the reluctance of the farmers to embrace new technologies being offered by the Department of Agriculture. My appeal to our farmers is for you to embrace the new technologies being offered by the government. Our only intent is to help you in improving your income and for you to level up by maximizing the use of your farms),” says Governor Dayanghirang. During the celebration, the governor has turned over many farming equipment to the local farmers from ten municipalities and one city, among them are tractors, pumps, floating tillers, including seeds and fertilizers.

Governor Dayanghirang together with the winners of the Gawad Saka 2018.

Top agriculture officials who graced the farmers and fisherfolk month’s celebration here says the government aims to modernize especially rice agriculture through the development of appropriate machinery and the employment of smart information and communication technologies that reduce labor and operational costs, provide timely irrigation and drainage, minimize grain losses, use alternative sources of farm power, allow access to strategic information, and assist in farm decision-making. It focuses on improving two key aspects that are believed to improve rice production and decision-making: engineering and information systems. Rotchie Ravelo, the province’s chief agriculturist, says 80 percent of the province’s economy is agriculture-based.

However, sixteen local farmers including farmers’ organizations from Davao Oriental stood out as big winners in the Davao Region’s agriculture awards dubbed as Gawad Saka 2018. They are:

  1. Edlun Ferrando, outstanding agri-entrepreneur
  2. Zebolon Bastes, outstanding small-animal raiser
  3. Benjamin Gonzaga, outstanding organic farmer
  4. Conde Mascardo, outstanding fish culture
  5. Joveto Arreza, outstanding HVCDP
  6. Betty More, outstanding coconut farmer
  7. Tandang Sora BFT, outstanding BFT
  8. Donato Rubin, outstanding corn farmer
  9. Edna Deypalubos, outstanding rice farmer
  10. La Union Farmers Association, outstanding small farmers organization
  11. PAFC Davao Oriental, outstanding PAFC
  12. MAFC Lupon, outstanding MAFC
  13. Eugene Dujali, rice agri-achiever
  14. Emma Montejo, rice agri-achiever
  15. Visitacion Kuan, rice agri-achiever
  16. Vincent Jun Caminero, rice agri-achiever

By Ferdinand Zuasola/Photo by Joel Owano






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