Governor Hilario P. Davide III committed three multi-cab vehicles, a sea patrol boat and portable corn mill as initial assistance to residents of Kinatarcan Island, Sta. Fe town, Bantayan Island.
He assured residents that the Provincial Capitol is doing its best to deliver the services to the island.
“Gatuo kami nga kanang buhis iuli gayud diha ninyo agig paghatud sa basic services og mao ang gituman karon (We in the Provincial Government believe that the taxes should be returned to the people through delivery of basic services which is being done now),” said Davide.
Davide toured around Kinatarcan Island and met with the barangay chiefs to discuss disaster risk reduction measures and different concerns of the residents.
With him were Sta. Fe Mayor Jose Esgana, Capitol Consultant Jing Lachica and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Chief Baltazar Tribunalo Jr.
Kinatarcan Island is composed of three barangays – Kintarcan (formerly called Bitoon), Langub and Hagdan.
The barangay chiefs aired out to Davide their worries with the prevalent illegal fishing activities, unstable water system in the island and lack of seedlings for their farms.
Fishing and farming is the main livelihood of the residents of Kinatarcan Island. But illegal fishing activities gravely threaten their only source of income.
Different methods of illegal fishing have long been widespread in the seas near the island, said Langub barangay chief Rolando Villacarlos.
“Most of them drag trolleys in the bottom of the sea damaging corals and sometimes, cutting through our fishnets,” he shared in dialect.
Though Kinatarcan has a community-based bantay-dagat system, it is still hard to capture illegal fishing operators since most of them are big shot operators, he added.
Davide encouraged the community to unite and cooperate with the Provincial government and local government of Sta. Fe (Sta. Fe LGU) in the fight against illegal fishing.
“Atong lig-unon ang bantay-dagat. Tabangan nato arong maundang na ang illegal fishing sa atong dagat (We will strengthen our sea patrol and help each other so illegal fishing activities in our seas will be eliminated),” he urged the residents.
For the residents’ farming woes, Davide committed to provide a portable corn mill for all barangays.
Barangay Hagdan chief Vilma Dawa said the corn mill would be of great help to them as most of the residents still use the old millstones.
Corn and cassava are Kinatarcan Island’s main crops.
Davide added that he will instruct Provincial Agriculturist Dr. Roldan Saragena to visit the island to introduce the Farmer-Scientist Training Program and extend agricultural assistance to the Kinatarcan farmers.
Another concern of the Kinatarcan residents is the water supply in the island.
Currently, Barangay Hagdan, situated in the most elevated part of the island, is the only area where water runs smoothly.
Water does not always reach the other barangays especially Barangay Langub, said Villacarlos. However, the residents have installed jars in their houses to serve as rainwater catchment, he added.
Davide expressed that the Province will work with Sta. Fe LGU and Oxfam International, a non-government organization, on installing a water system in the island.
“Gusto ko adunay igong supply sa tubig diri. Ato tan-awon asa maka-konektar aron adunay stable supply diri (I want this island to have enough and stable supply of water. We will see where we can tap this water supply), he said.
Esgana expressed his gratitude for Davide’s presence in the island.
“Pasalamat kaayo mi nga mibisita si Gov diri kay nakita na niya ang sitwasyon sa isla. Sayod si Gov kung unsa gyud ang kinahanglanon diri (We are thankful that Gov visited the island and so he was able to personally see the island’s situation. He knows the needs of the island), he said.
Davide promised to visit the island again before the year ends.