EL NIDO, Palawan – A seaweed farming cooperative in Coron, Palawan is calling for donations to aid struggling members and non-members.
Some 35 seaweed farmers composed of various indigenous groups such as the Tagbanua, Agutaynon, and Cuyonon peoples, are struggling to provide for their daily needs after buyers were no longer allowed to come to their cooperative and buy their seaweed produce. Most are registered members of the Calamianes Seaweed Marketing Cooperative (CMSC), based in Barangay Tagumpay, Coron.
“Talagang nahihirapan na kami rito dahil sa kawalan ng buyer. Hindi na sila pinapayagang pumunta rito dahil sa mga checkpoint,” said Mary Anne Delema, CMSC vice president.
Delema stated that their buyers come from Mindoro to pick up their produce. However, because of quarantine restrictions, their regular buyers are no longer allowed to visit the cooperative.
“Sila ay mga middlemen na pumupunta talaga rito sa cooperative para bumili ng mga seaweed. Kaso ngayon at wala nang buyers, talagang hirap na ang mga farmers. Walang mga dumating na ayuda o tulong sa kanila. Marami ang mga may pamilya, hindi nila alam kung saan kukuha ng kita,” said Delema. “Mayroon pa ritong mga farmers na mga senior citizens, solo parents, at PWD (persons with disability). Mahirap na talaga at nananawagan na kami ng sinumang gustong tumulong.”
Interested donors may contribute via online banking. The details are as follows:
Bank: Bank of the Philippine Islands
Account Number: 2499067405
Account Name: Mary Anne Delema
Phone Number: 09984341919