To help ensure food security in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in the city, the City Government of Davao – through the City Agriculturist’s Office (CAgrO) and Peace 911, in collaboration with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region XI (BFAR XI) – handed over the Aquapark Project in Barangay Tapak, Paquibato District to the Ata-Paraiso Tularo Association (APaTA).

Aimee Evora, Head of CAgrO’s Fishery Resources Management Services Division, said in an interview with the City Information Office that the fisheries project intends to not only promote the livelihood of the community living around Lake Paraiso but also to increase fish production and ensure food security.

“Ang goal gyud nato didto no is ma-increase ang fisheries production nila, food security, especially kay ang IP community didto ang main source lang gyud nila sa isda is through aquaculture or diha sa lake [Our primary objective is to increase production in the area, ensure food security, especially because aquaculture and the lake is the main source of fish of the IP community in the area],” she said.

Evora said that currently, following the recent turnover of 6 units of fish cages to the APaTA, there are a total of 18 units of fish cages established in Lake Paraiso.

During the turnover of the fish cages to the APaTA on May 16, BFAR XI distributed 1500 fingerlings for each cage, as well as feeds.

Evora said the project was made possible through the support of various government agencies, including the National Commission on Indigenous People XI (NCIP XI), which helped identify the beneficiaries of the project, and ensured that the project is aligned with the culture and traditions of the IP community.

The 56th Infantry “Tatag” Battalion, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), City Engineer’s Office, and the barangay local government unit of Tapak have also been instrumental in the realization of the project.

Evora added that the fisheries project, which started in 2023, also benefited members of the Mapantaw Farmers Association in Tapak. A similar project was also implemented in Lake Lanao benefitting the Lanao Farmers Association. She said that based on data from the BFAR, these projects allowed fish farmers to produce around 1.6 metric tons of tilapia in 2023.

The CAgrO continues to identify locations for fisheries projects similar to this, especially in areas located in the highlands as it will help promote and ensure food security for every Dabawenyo. CIO