FISHERIES AWARD. Sagñay, Camarines Sur Mayor Jovi Fuentabella (third from left), accepts the 3rd place award in the National Search for Outstanding Coastal Community 2021 during a ceremony in Quezon City on Tuesday (Nov. 22, 2022). The award is given annually under the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. (Photo courtesy of BFAR-Bicol)

LEGAZPI CITY – The local government unit (LGU) of Sagñay in Camarines Sur bagged the third place in the National Search for Outstanding Coastal Community 2021 under the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

In an interview on Thursday, Nonie Enolva, BFAR-Bicol spokesperson, said the LGU will receive PHP10 million worth of fisheries livelihood projects.

"They (LGU-Sagñay) will submit a project proposal then upon approval, we will fund transfer the PHP10 million. The said amount must be used for programs specifically intended for fisherfolk in the municipality," Enolva said.

She said the proposed projects may include those on livelihood, training, coastal resource management, fishery law enforcement activity, or capacity building.

"If they can submit it the soonest, the better. We will download the prize immediately. Usually, after two weeks to one month, they can submit," she said.

Enolva said the implementation of the approved project will be the LGU's responsibility but BFAR will help with the maintenance and technical assistance.

Meanwhile, Caluya, Antique notched the grand prize in the competition while Padre Burgos town in Southern Leyte won second place.

The top three winners were chosen from 42 participating coastal communities across the country.

Enolva said Sagñay’s success is rooted in the municipality’s excellent fishery law enforcement implementation with 10 regulations enacted through municipal ordinances, Sangguniang Bayan resolutions and administrative orders.

"These regulations include the protection and conservation of coastal resources of the municipal water boundaries. The LGU also has regular fund allocation for coastal resource management," she said.

Enolva said other LGUs in Bicol Region that submitted their entries to the MMK tilt were Gubat and Sta. Magdalena in Sorsogon, San Jose and Tinambac in Camarines Sur, Ligao City of Albay and Mercedes and Jose Panganiban towns in Camarines Norte.

Sagñay's award was received during a ceremony in Quezon City last Tuesday by Mayor John Vincent B. Fuentebella, SK Federation president and Committee on Fisheries head Robert C. Canicula, Municipal Agriculturist Myrna S. Sinaon, and AT Fisheries Marygrace B. Cepe.

Also present during the awarding were BFAR-5 Regional Director Nelson B. Bien, MMK Focal Person and Fisheries, Management Regulatory and Enforcement Division chief Ariel Pioquinto and BFAR-Bicol Fishing Regulations Officer 2 Ruben Peyra Jr. (PNA)