Siquijor hosts top coastal awardees

Siquijor province was picked as the venue for the national awarding of the search for the country’s outstanding coastal community dubbed as “Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK)” on July 19, Friday

The event was graced by high-ranking government executives, regional directors, and local officials among others.

No less than Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol attended the awarding ceremony of the MMK program which is his brainchild.

Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona was also in attendance.

BFAR-Region 7 Director Alfeo Piloton said that the working committee, which he heads, geared up for the big event wherein the winners were revealed.

Interestingly, the national awarding was held for outside Malacañang for the first time. Piloton said it was Piñol himself who requested for the national-level event to be held in the province.

“The secretary (Piñol) confirmed his attendance,” Piloton said. “Originally, the awarding was to take place in Malacañang but this time, it was decided to be held in a provincial setting,” he added.

In the same program, the distribution of at least 130 units of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boats to the marginal fishermen in Siquijor province was also done.

Piloton underscored that Piñol seeks to fulfill his promise to the province wherein he earlier committed to give out boats for small-scale fishermen.

Piloton also said that President Rodrigo Duterte was earlier reported to attend the event thus a separate program was laid out in case he arrived.

Piloton said the working committee also took into account possible weather conditions with contingency plans in place had the weather remained uncooperative.