Turn over of payaw livelihood assistance to the residents of Barangay Bagong Silang on Thursday. || Photo courtesy of TOW West

Residents of Barangay Bagong Silang in Puerto Princesa City will soon benefit from a fish aggregating device or payaw constructed in Puerto Princesa Bay.

The “Payaw Project”, which was formally launched Thursday, is a livelihood assistance project jointly initiated by the Tactical Operations Wing West (TOW) West, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR),  Rotary Club of Puerto Princesa, Grand Isla Kalayaan Eagles Club, and Last Frontier Grand Eagles Club for the residents of Bagong Silang.

Bagong Silang barangay captain Reynaldo Taneo thanked the agencies for the assistance which he said will greatly benefif the residents.

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He said the project will be a big help not only to his barangay but also to other barangays being the primary producers of fish products in the city.

“Nagpapasalamat kami sa lahat ng tumulong para magawa ito. Malaking tulong ito sa mga taga Bagong Silang at sa mga kalapit barangay,” he said.

Col. Thurman Fanugao, director for operations of TOW West said the project is a joint initiative of the barangay and other sectors and stakeholders which  includes the Philippine Air Force that became successful through their cooperation.

“Ang TOW West ay isa lang sa mga sector na may initiative para masustain ang project na ito. Nakikita ko na mahirap sa part ng mangingisda kasi kailangan sustainable ito. That’s the challenge not only for TOW-West but also to ghe barangay [kung paano maging sustainable],” he said.

Aldrin Villapa, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Palawan aquaculturist also reiterated the importance of ecological balance. Residents should also protect and sustain the project to avoid destruction of the environment.

“Maganda itong naisip na program na pwede ma-adopt ng ibang barangay. Ang akin lang, dapat ma-regulate natin kasi ang thinking ng iba, hangga’t may nakukuha ay okay lang. Dapat naka-specify kung gaano kadami ang kukunin na isda,” Villapa said.

He said they are also willing to provide technical assistances for the project.

“Kung ano man ang kailangan na assistance ay pwede pong pumunta lang sa aming opisina,” Villapa added.

Recently,  MSgt Leo Sabuya, of TOW West Civil Military Operation (CMO) of TOW West explained that Payaw is a platform placed or floated in the water to attract fish.

“Mayroong floater, may nakasabit na buri sa ilalim kasi ‘yon ang kakainin ng mga maliliit na isda. Then ‘yong mga maliliit na isda naman ang susunduan ng mga malalaking isda,” Sabuya said.

“Kawil lang ang suggestion na pag-harvest kasi kung lambat ay masasama pati maliliit na isda,” he added.

“Sana po ay i-replicate ito sa ibang community to tell the story of the program,” Eagle Emmanuel De Asis, vice president for Last Frontier Grand Eagles Club said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.