Bayanihan spirit. Members of the Siglat Mangngalap Dada Norte SLPA work together in building their fish cages under the scorching heat of the sun.

“Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” literally applies to the 28 members of Siglat Mangngalap Dada Norte Sustainable Livelihood Program Association (SLPA) and eight (8) members of Dur-as Dada Sur SLPA in Sinait, Ilocos Sur as they underwent a Skills Training on Fish Culture on 5-9 March 2018 to enhance their skills on fish farming. The two SLPAs also received fishing nets, ropes, and fingerlings as livelihood starter kits from the University of Northern Philippines-Research and Extension Office through a fund transfer from the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office I which amounted to Php229,500.00 (including training cost).

The Siglat Mangngalap Dada Norte SLPA members who can’t afford to buy a boat used to fish by riding on a ‘rakit’, a flat buoyant structure of bamboos fastened together, which hinders them to go to the deeper part of the sea to catch a more bountiful harvest. With the provision of fish cages constructed just about 50 meters from the shore, it is expected that these fisher folks will be able to generate higher income from the cultured fishes. On the other hand, the barangay folks let the Dur-as Dada Sur SLPA build their fish cages in the barangay-owned fish tank for free.

Rolly Respicio, SLPA President, said that they are optimistic of the success of their project because of the efficiency of the training they had and the continuous monitoring of the DSWD Field Staff in the area who provides technical assistance in coordination with partner stakeholders. Right after their first harvest which is expected in two months, they plan to open an SLPA savings account as part of their financial management. (by: Janine Joy B. Altero, Social Marketing Officer, Sustainable Livelihood Program)