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Boat Race Marks Opening Of Laoag’s Agriculture And Fishery Sector Day

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Boat Race Marks Opening Of Laoag’s Agriculture And Fishery Sector Day

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Some 20 motorized and 10 non-motorized boat operators in the coastal villages of this city joined a bancathon and takuli (human-powered watercraft) race along the Padsan River in Metro Gabu on Monday.

Top three winners for the motorized boat race received cash prize amounting to PHP6,000 to PHP13,000 while for the non-motorized boat category, PHP2,000 to PHP5,000.

“This significant occasion pays tribute to the diligent workers in the agricultural and fishing sectors, recognizing their pivotal role in ensuring food sufficiency and security through their abundant yields,” Laoag City Mayor Michael Keon said during the start of the three-day Agriculture and Fishery Day held in Barangay 34-B Gabu Norte.

Other activities for the festivities include free vaccination for cats and dogs, Kadiwa ng Pangulo market, judging of the “Best Crops”, Search for Manong ken Manang ti Away (Mr. and Ms. Of the Barrio) 2024, and float parade from Ablan Avenue (in front of Centennial Arena) to Rizal Street (in front of the Ilocos Norte Capitol) and a raffle draw.

The city government, through its agriculture and social development offices, continues to provide interventions to farmers and fishers who are the most affected and vulnerable from severe drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

City agriculturist Sheila Marie Opelac told the Philippine News Agency that around PHP8 million has been recorded as damage to rice, corn, vegetables and tilapia production due to extreme heat to date.

“Most of the affected areas include Bacsil North and South, Lataag, San Mateo, Camanggaan, San Matias, Salet, Lagui, Metro Gabu, and La Paz,” she said, adding that more crops could have been damaged if some farmers were not able to harvest their crops early.

To mitigate the impact of the dry spell, Opelac said they have intensified their information and education campaign, telling farmers to plant early-maturing and drought-tolerant varieties before the onset of the dry season from October to March.

For those affected by drought and fish kill, Opelac assured that a rehabilitation fund is now being processed for the purchase of seeds and tilapia fingerlings to replace the loss.

Over the weekend, some 250 fishers from 11 coastal villages who were displaced during the conduct of the one-day Balikatan Exercises at the Laoag dunes last May 6 also received PHP1,000 cash assistance and food packs from the city government. (PNA)