Bohol proves convergence is key to sustainable peace and development as Gov. Edgar Chatto led the blessing and inauguration of the Bohol Giant Clams Hatchery at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Facility in Sinandigan, Ubay last Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
Six years saw to the success of the establishment of the hatchery for giant clams or locally known as taklobo. Provincial Agriculturist and chief of staff Liza Quirog shared that back in February 20, 2013 alongside the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), 240 giant clams were transported from the University of the Philippines (UP) Marine Science Institute based in Bolinao, Pangasinan and brought to the Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Bingag, Dauis. This was initiated under the Internal Peace and Security Program or IPSP Bayanihan, a program on human security.
The giant clams were then deployed to 9 other MPAs: Balicasag in Panglao, Basdio in Guindulman, Badiang in Anda, Lumayag in Mabini, Sinandigan in Ubay, Cataban in Talibon, Hambongan in Inabanga, Majingpit Bonbon in Clarin, and Gaus in Carlos P. Garcia (Pitogo).
With marine biologists and technicians in constant monitoring and biophysical assessment of the giant clams and together with the assistance of BFAR Guian, the hatchery was then established at the BFAR Facility in Ubay.
Chatto’s leadership sees the endeavor as a priority and a long-term intervention of the Provincial Government to ensure sustainable management of the MPAs. It is also consistent with the goal of reducing poverty and ensuring food security through collective effort in the protection and conservation of marine resources.
The taklobo increases marine resources as it provides food and shelter for other marine organisms. It helps to enhance water visibility because of its ability to filter water. It helps to build and shape reefs. It attracts more fishes because it produces food for fishes. This helps to enhance marine biodiversity.
Giant clams are hermaphrodites and they are pulled out of the MPAs and brought to the hatchery for spawning. There are currently three species at the hatchery: tridacna gigas, tridacna squamosa, and hippopus hippopus. It takes up to two years for new giant clams to be brought back to the MPAs as operation culture was explained by marine biologist Vil Inguito-Pelindingue.
BFAR Reg. Exec. Dir. Alfeo Piloton congratulated Bohol for the initiative on food security and environmental conservation. He said the giant clams are listed as endangered in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) because of its dwindling population. The hatchery makes possible the seeding of the giant clams in MPAs, he stated, thanking the Bohol Provincial Government for its program that enhances marine resources and thus ensuring food and livelihood for the Boholanos.
Also a partner to the project, Bohol Island State University through Dr. Zina Sayson calls the opening of the hatchery as a historic milestone for addressing two major concerns- Environmental Sustainability and Poverty Alleviation. BISU has fisheries programs in Clarin and Candijay.
Department of National Defense (DND) Usec. Cardoso Luna reading the message of DND Sec. Delfin Lorenzana said Bohol’s success is truly commendable especially in shared commitment and in contribution to the national agenda of environmental protection and preservation and poverty alleviation, pre-cursors to lasting peace and security.
“Continue to walk this path. Never cease to work for peace,” Lorenzana said of Bohol’s outstanding achievement.
CENTCOM Deputy Commander Elie Alberto, BFAR Guian Center Director Nonita Cabacaba, 47IB Commander Col. Joel Malig, DILG Provincial Director John Joan Mende, Bohol Environment and Management Office (BEMO) head Tata Ganub, provincial and municipal officials also graced the blessing and inauguration of the giant clams hatchery.
On the same occasion Gov. Chatto, Usec. Luna, and DILG Provincial Dir. Mende also signed a tripartite agreement for the Construction of a Halfway House for Rebel Returnees under the Enhanced Comprehensive Local Integration Program (ECLIP). The Chatto administration champions shared leadership in numerous initiatives that have become models for best practices cutting across various sectors.