FOURTH District Rep. “Manay” Gina de Venecia handed an initial P500,000 financial assistance to the Ulupan na Sumisigay ed Dagupan during a ceremony held Wednesday at the Bonuan Gueset Sports Arena.
The congresswoman promised another P500,000 will be released to the same group in a few months after the Ulupan have used the initial fund for their livelihood projects, such as fish drying, buy-and-sell, and for the purchase of fish nets.
De Venecia turned over the check to Ronnie Cayabyab, president of the association, in the presence of Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez who personally asked for help from the congresswoman after members of the association lost their means of living when the city government dismantled all fishpens along Dagupan’s rivers without providing an alternative source of livelihood.
“Alam po n’yo, ako ay talagang nalungkot nang malaman ko mula kay Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez ang nangyari sa inyong kabuhayan nang ipatupad ng ating Siyudad ang clean- up drive sa mga ilog ng Dagupan,” De Venecia said.
Others present were former Councilors Michael Fernandez and Jose Netu Tamayo, Councilors Maybelyn Fernandez, Jeslito Seen, Marlyn Manaois-Reyna, Solo De Venecia and Barangay Chairmen Saysi Samson and Marvin Fabia and former Barangay Chairman Alfredo Quinto.
Also present were Bonuan Gueset Barangay Chairman Rico Mejia and his son, Steve, barangay administrator of Bonuan Gueset.
On the dismantling of fishpens without providing an alternative livelihood to the affected fishermen, De Venecia said officials of city hall may have forgotten the first line of the preamble of the Constitution which provides for the creation of “a just and people-centered society.”
“Salamat na lang, at nariyan si Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez na nakaunawa sa inyong kalagayan. Kaya nang sinabi nya sa akin ang inyong suliranin, agad akong umaksiyon para tugunan ang inyong pangangailangan,” De Venecia said.
She expressed hope that with the initial amount, the small fishermen and families in various coastal barangays and sitios of Dagupan, will have initial capital for their livelihood so that they can have more decent and dignified lives.
De Venecia also said the soil erosion in sitio Puntok, Barangay Bonuan Binloc, only few meters from the Dagupan Seafood Processing Plant, is now being addressed.
She credited the Sangguniang Panlungsod through the vice mayor who sits as council chair for bringing her attention to the problem.
De Venecia immediately made representation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which in turn set aside P20 million for the construction of a protective wall along the Cayanga River.
The project is expected to be finished by the end of this year.