A full view of the Fiberglass Reinforced-Plastic Floating Seaweed Solar Drier, along with two units of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Motorized Boat. The motorized boats will be used as PMPMC’s means of transportation towards the seaweed planting site and the buyers’ pick up point. (Photo from the Puerto Princesa City Agriculture Office Facebook page)

The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) has released the first and second tranches of equipment to Pandan Marine Products Marketing Cooperative (PMPMC) for the seaweed production and marketing subproject of the Department of Agriculture (DA-PRDP).

In a statement provided by the department, the PMPMC received one out of five units of fiberglass reinforced-plastic floating seaweed solar drier; two units of 35-footer (twin-engine, 16hp) fiberglass reinforced plastic motorized boat; and four units of fiberglass reinforced-plastic paddle boats, amounting to P2.5 million.

In addition to the boat equipments, PMPMC also received additional tools such as one unit of moisture analyzer; 70 rolls of PE Rope #18; 70 rolls of PE Rope #14; 455 rolls of PE Rope #8; 18,480 rolls of PE Rope #4; two bundles of Double B-Net; and 2,100 pieces of ordinary sacks.

The amount of equipment delivered to PMPMC is the 16 percent of the total subproject cost, which is P16.1 million.

The seaweed subproject managed by PMPMC is a small enterprise and categorized as an upgrading and expansion type in Masong Lagoon, Barangay  Manalo, Puerto Princesa City, within the Honda Bay area.

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The subproject is part of the enterprise development (I-REAP) component of the PRDP. The I-REAP component partners with DA and local government units to strengthen agri-fishery enterprises through value chain and investments.

The department explained that the subproject aims to increase the income of seaweeds growers by improving the quality of raw dried seaweeds, to generate employment for residents and PMPMC members, and to increase farm productivity.

These shall be achieved through application of site-appropriate farming techniques and use of modern post-harvest facilities and equipment, it added.

PMPMC chair Mario Mulato said that the boats and equipments received by the cooperative will be a big help for their operation.

“Fiberglass is certainly different. It is buoyant and light, unlike the wooden boats that are heavy and absorb water. We need equipment to use in our cooperative; it is what my members wished for– to have our own boats to use. We are relieved that we now have two fiberglass boats that we can use as a service. Planting is now easier because we now have a service,” Mulato said.

It can be recalled that the PMPMC was commended by World Bank for its performance as it coped with the pandemic and the effect of typhoon Quinta in 2020, during the 11th World Bank Implementation Mission conducted by the DA-PRDP.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.