PRDP-funded enterprise benefits Padre Burgos fisherfolks in Quezon
Yakap at Halik Multipurpose Cooperative Quezon 2 (Yakap at Halik) is creating new opportunities for its members through the grouper production enterprise co-funded with Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) and the municipal government of Padre Burgos, Quezon.
“Because of this project, my family was able to open a sari-sari store in our house, widen the sources of income which assure us that we can get something in times of needs,” Nelson Angeles, a member of Yakap at Halik, and one of the workers in the enterprise, said.
To be specific, this enterprise allows 28 members of the cooperative, out of the 1,432 total members, to work in the development of their grouper or lapu-lapu enterprise.
Their production site is located in the Ipil river in the said municipality where traders from Lucena City buy fish to sell in Metro Manila, particularly to Chinese restaurants.
Enrico Derama, general manager for the grouper enterprise, said that they have a high mortality rate in the beginning. During their first harvest in January 2018, they were only able to harvest groupers worth P22,623.
“We also experienced strong typhoons that flooded the river which causes some of the groupers to swim away from their cages,” Derama added.
While there are some members that started to lose hope due to the number of production-related problems, Derama and most of its members decided to research and network with other grouper producers.
It is fortunate that they were able to talk with some producers in Zamboanga who taught them various techniques to decrease mortality and lessen the impact of bad weather.
Through their hard work and perseverance, the association harvested worth P119,032 in July 2019, which is almost five times higher than their first produce.
In order to ensure that they have a monthly harvest, they have started fingerling segmentation which is a process of caging groupers according to their size.
The net profit from the enterprise is divided into 40 percent for the cooperative and 60 percent for the cage operators. In one instance, Angeles was able to harvest 58 groupers in his cages; for that, he was able to earn P6,000.
These 28 cage operators also receive other benefits from the enterprise. They are also being compensated for the construction and maintenance of the cages as well as for protecting the production site from outsiders and bringing trash fish to the groupers.