Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. yesterday said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is being to implement again Fisheries Order Number 15, which declares Nov. 15 to March 15 as off-season for commercial fishing in the Visayan Sea.
In many countries, there is always an off fishing season, Marañon said, adding that he does not know why it was no longer implemented in the Philippines.
It will be only off-limits for commercial fishing operators, but not the small ones, Marañon said.
The million-hectare Visayan Sea, which includes the territorial waters of Negros, Cebu, Masbate and Panay, is threatened by harmful fishing activities, such as blast and cyanide fishing, environmentalists said.
Marañon said the Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement, which is now celebrating its 50th founding anniversary, has done a splendid job in promoting environmentally sustainable development projects in Negros Occidental, and helped thousands of Negrenses by providing them livelihood opportunities.
The OISCA movement, which started first in the Philippines, is now in 42 countries. It has also established a training centers in 13 provinces of the country, Marañon said.
The rains have not dampened the spirits of OISCA members and youth delegates marking OISCA’s 50th founding anniversary of implementing environmentally sustainable development projects in Negros Occidental at the Pana-ad Park in Bacolod City.
Marañon also cited the OISCA mangrove projects in Molocaboc island in Sagay City, which not only uplift the lives of fishermen and their families, but also done a lot in restoring and preserving the island fishing grounds.
He said the sericulture venture of OISCA in Bago City, Negros Occidental, which propagation of silkworm cocoons by growing mulberry trees, also helped hundreds of families.
The thriving Silkworm Rearing industry in Bago City is considered as the top producer of silk in the Philippines. Rear silkworm whose cocoons are produced into silk yarns, are used as raw material for barong and other related products.
Mildred Garay, regional director of Department of Education in Western Visayas, lauded the OISCA-Philippines for inculcating “environment awareness” to the youth, which heighten their values of loving and preserving the environment.
OISCA youth delegates and organizations from various towns and cities in Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Aklan and Mindanao, as well as from Megumi, Japan, are holding a three-day “youth camp” at the Pana-ad Park in Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City.
The OISCA-Philippines is the biggest chapter outside Japan.
Since OISCA started in the Philippines in 1961, has sent 1,024 trainees for work to Japan, 3,854,105 trees have been planted in upland areas covering 2,410 hectares, and 7,196,500 mangrove trees have been planted on 1,272 hectares, its records showed.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said OISCA, which has made an impact on the lives of Bacoleños and Negrenses as well, is not just an ordinary organization, but also focuses on the total well-being, growth and development, not only of a person, but the community as well.
Board Member Thea Mae Duran-Dino, who represents the Sangguniang Kabataan federation in the provincial council, said the OISCA volunteerism has touched the lives of thousands of Negrenses, and in preserving the environment.
About 1,000 students from elementary schools in Bago City and OISCA members and youth delegates showed their talents in playing musical instruments at the Panaad yesterday.*GPB