Fishermen harvest almost P500K worth of Bangus

Almost half-million pesos worth of Bangus was harvested by a cooperative of small fishermen in Barangay Wanke, in Claver, Surigao del Norte.

Gagmay’ng Mananagat sa Wangke (GAMAWA), a cooperative of fishermen supported by Taganito Mining Corporation (TMC), recorded another big harvest – a total of 4,270 kilos of Bangus that converted a total sale of P480,238.

Their biggest record was last December when they harvested 7,928 kilos that sold for a whopping P889,292.

TMC has been supporting GAMAWA and since 2017, it has allocated an accumulated fund of P5.5 million from its Social Development Management Program (SDMP).

The fund helped GAMAWA build state-of-the-art fish cages in a 450-square meter area with three chambers that can handle 30,000 Bangus fingerlings in a single cropping.

The leadership style of GAMAWA President Felix Saranza is key to the success of the organization.

“It is important to understand the interests of the individual member and of the whole group, to keep the organization intact, until everyone gets the taste of the fruits of everyone’s labor,” said Saranza.

Saranza added: “It is a democracy, I cannot decide until everyone involved agrees, so it can be very hard sometimes, but in the end, it is all worth it because members actively participate when they know they have a say in decision making.”

“We owe all our accomplishment to the support of TMC,” Saranza declared.

Judy B. Urbiztondo, Senior Community Development Specialist for TMC, said the leadership of Saranza helped a lot to make the project successful.

“In a cooperative where you have members with different personal quirks, different economic challenges and demands, different issues, you need a strong leader respected by everyone to keep things together, and Mr. Saranza is perfect for the role,” she said.

Urbiztondo said the Co-op of GAMAWA has gone through a lot of challenges and sacrifices that taught the members valuable life lessons that got them to what they enjoy today – a strong cooperative and a sustainable livelihood.

But success, according to Urbiztondo, means the cooperative will be able to grow the fish farm bigger to better the lives of its 21 members for years and years to come.

“Taganito Mining’s partnership with GAMAWA aims to prove the strength of a collaborative effort between the mining company and its communities toward a shared goal of empowering cooperatives,” explained Engr. Artemio E. Valeroso, TMC Resident Mine Manager.

Valeroso added that another worthy take away from the success story of GAMAWA is the information from the members that help define how communities can actually take active part in the success of societies.

Republic Act 11535, creating the position of a Cooperatives Development Officer (CDO) mandatory in all local government units (LGUs), was signed into law last April 9.

This directs the LGUs – from the municipal, city, and provincial levels – to appoint its own CDO.

In TMC, a CDO is a regular job description – someone in charge of identifying promising groups in different sectors in the communities to guide and assist them to organize their own cooperatives.

Edelina E. Peraz, Community Development Coordinator at TMC, said “as a mining company, TMC is tasked by law to ensure social and economic development of the communities and we have long acknowledged the significance of a successful cooperative to achieve this.”

One of the organizations that Peraz has been assisting since its inception is the GAMAWA, a 21-strong fishermen’s cooperative in a mining community of barangay Wanke, Claver, Surigao del Norte.

Taganito Mining is located in Claver, province of Surigao del Norte. Its area of operations is within the Surigao Mineral Reservation.

Share this article