Vice President Leni Robredo paid a visit to a fisherfolk organization known for saving the once dying fishing industry in a small village in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay on Friday (July 26).
Robredo gamely sat on the bow of the boat while the organization’s leader, Roberto “Ka Dodoy” Ballon, toured her around their community’s mangrove rehabilitation project along Sibuguey Bay in Barangay Concepcion.
She also got off the boat to have a closer look of how fishermen catch Lapu-lapu from the fish cages.
Masaya rin ako na nakadalaw kami sa Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, ang bayan ni Ka Dodoy Ballon, na bida sa Best Film ng…
Ballon was the star in the film “Ka Dodoy” that won and raked in awards i this year’s Istorya ng Pag-asa Film Festival (INPFF), organized by Robredo’s office and the Ayala Foundation Inc.
He and his fellow fishermen in the Kapunongan sa mga Gagmay’ng Mangingisda sa Concepcion (KGMC) were instrumental in restoring the fishing industry in their community by starting a mangrove planting movement to save their dwindling fish stock.
After the tour, Robredo—impressed by the project of Ballon’s group—went to the office of KGMC and lauded them for keeping the industry alive with their sustainable fishing initiatives.
“Marami na din po akong mga fishing communities na napuntahan. Pare-pareho ng reklamo: wala na ang isda, wala na ang hanapbuhay. Pero iyong ginawa niyo dito, parang imposible noong umpisa, ‘di ba? Imposible noong umpisa. Pero binuhay niyo ulit at marami iyong nakikinabang,” she said.
“Ganado kasi kaming tumulong kapag nakikita naming tinutulungan iyong sarili,” Robredo added.
Before visiting the fishermen, the Vice President turned over her office’s second dormitory in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte, in partnership with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, for students living in far-flung communities.