In essence, that's what the fishermen here are getting from the P5.6-million ice plant and cold storage facility turned over by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) affiliate Cagdianao Mining Corporation (CMC).

In essence, that's what the fishermen here are getting from the P5.6-million ice plant and cold storage facility turned over by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) affiliate Cagdianao Mining Corporation (CMC).

The facility seeks to fill in a crucial demand for ice blocks in this island province, while boosting the income of the beneficiaries by selling ice to other fisherfolks in neighboring villages and even in other parts of Dinagat Islands.

Remar R. Flores, president of Gaas Dinagat Fishermen Cooperative (GADIFCO)--the project recipient--underscored the impact of the ice plant on their livelihood.


“First, this will extend the shelf life of our catch so that we can sell it at higher prices. Second, we no longer have to travel to other areas and spend hundreds of pesos for fuel just to buy ice blocks," Flores said.

Flores added producing their own ice blocks also meant that the 30-strong members of their cooperative can earn more from selling their product to other fishermen in the municipality, and even in nearby coastal towns of the province.

"This project really solved a lot of problems for us, which we have been having for so long," he said, adding that the lacks of means to preserve their catch has forced other fishermen to engage in illegal fishing.

"Some are forced to engage in destructive and potentially dangerous illegal fishing methods just to augment their income," he said.

"Now they don't have any excuse because we now produce our own ice blocks, and we can now preserve our catch for longer. That means we have enough for our family's consumption, and we have enough to sell to our buyers," he pointed out.


Mansueto G. Cadeliña, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) provincial fisheries officer, confirmed that GADIFCO's ice plant and storage facility "is the only one of its kind operating in the province, so far."

"We know of one ice plant before in San Jose (the province's capital town), but it has not been operational for quite some time because of power supply issues and other management problems," said Cadeliña, who attended the turnover ceremony along with local and provincial officials.

Cadeliña noted that with constant supply of ice blocks, "we can now expect our fishermen to be the protectors against illegal fishing. And supporting the traditional way of fishing is effectively one sure way of protecting the environment."

The BFAR official added: "This ice plant project of CMC really helps our fishermen in Cagdianao to earn more sustainably. This is actually a very effective support to the campaign of BFAR dubbed "Para sa Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan."


Jaime Menil, federated president of the Fisherfolks Association representing all four fisherfolks organizations within CMC's host and neighboring communities, voiced confidence the project's impact would reach beyond the intended recipient area.

"Our members in Barangays Valencia, Bayanihan and Boa will surely benefit from this project. It helps to know that cooperative members get a discount of 5 percent per block, so we're looking forward at doing business with GADIFCO," Menil said in the dialect.

"This project will create a domino effect, in a very advantageous way for all neighboring fisherfolks like us," he said.

The facility can produce 50 blocks of ice on the first eight hours for daily operation, and 50 more in every succeeding four hours. It is also equipped with an ice crusher.

GADIFCO plans to charge P54 per block of ice, which weighs 10 kilos, with free crushing.


Engr. Aloysius Diaz, CMC Vice President for Operations, said the project reflects "our commitment to the communities in Dinagat Islands, we have programs for the farmers, now this is for the fishermen."

"Soon, we will have programs for tourism. You see, a lot of people are curious about responsible mining. This is the showcase – because tourism, farming and fishing can thrive in a responsible mining community,” Diaz said.

Cadeliña agreed, pointing out that their organization has been a recipient of financial and technical support from CMC over the years.

"From capacity building and enhancement to providing capital and in implementation of the project. Truly, this is a responsible mining who responded to the needs of the people," he said.

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