By Joseph Bacani
DAGUPAN CITY – The Samahan ng Maliliit na Mangingisda sa Dagupan City (SMalManDaCi) was among the six national finalists in the fourth St. Vincent de Paul National Awards this year.
The group was chosen from among 100 which helped the disadvantaged break the cycle that kept them in poverty.
SMalManDaCi was honored by the Adamson University through the Office for Vincentian Identity and Mission during the awarding ceremony on September 26 at the Adamson University Theater.
Adamson University disclosed that the award is in recognition of the unity and synergy of people and organizations working together towards the empowerment of poor communities to take responsibility and direction for their own destiny and to change the unjust structures that keep them in poverty.
It also honors organizations, regardless of socio-, political-, religious- affiliation and orientation, which have not only promoted effective and concrete short- and long-term solutions to poverty but also, and most importantly, uplift the dignity and empower the poor and their community.
Through the initiative of Mayor Belen Fernandez, the SMalManDaCi in Baranggay Pugaro has been provided with “kalokor” (long net) which up to this date has been a big help to them.
According to SMalManDaCi President Edilberto Gonzales, their group is now earning at least 10-20 thousand pesos from their catch using their kalokor every outing and the members are happy and satisfied with the income that they are generating.
SMalManDaCi currently have around 50 small fishermen. They joined hands together in using the kalokor, which they themselves have woven.
The city government also continues cleaning the river by dredging and with the help of DPWH; bancas with bamboo raft were provided to increase small fishermen’s catch. The city also provided fishing tools.
Recently, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 1 and the local government of Dagupan installed six fish aggregating devices called payaos in the Lingayen Gulf, particularly along the area of Baranggay Pugaro to help the members of the group increase their catch further.