AID TO FISHERFOLK. A memorandum of agreement is signed between the Mindanao Development Authority and the provincial government of Davao Oriental for the transfer of PHP500,000 for the Kalagan fishermen in Mati City on Tuesday (Dec. 10, 2019). The amount will be utilized to build 10 fishing boats. (Photo courtesy of MinDA)

DAVAO CITY -- The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) released PHP500,000 aid to the Kalagan fisherfolks in Mati City, Davao Oriental, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a statement on Thursday.

"I came to fulfill a promise made to the Muslim-Kalagan fishermen," Piñol was quoted as saying.

Piñol said he directed the MinDA staff to facilitate the conduct of a financial management and technical training for the members of the group to prepare for the completion of their fishing boats by December.

He said a memorandum of agreement was signed between MinDA and the provincial government of Davao Oriental during his visit on Tuesday (December 10) for the transfer of PHP500,000 for the ethnic group to build 10 small fishing boats.

"In my long years in public service, I always followed a code of conduct to fulfil promises I make to the ordinary people because I know this will regain their trust and confidence in government", Piñol said.

It will be the first time the Muslim fishermen will own a fishing boat large enough to go beyond the 15-kilometer municipal waters to catch tuna and high value fish, he said.

He said the local government here organized the "Jamaa," the religious leaders of the 8,000 Kalagan families, into several groups to facilitate the release of assistance provided by the national government under President Rodrigo Duterte. (PNA)