MANAY GINA REPORTS
FOURTH District Rep. Manay Gina de Venecia appealed to members of the Ulopan na Managsigay ed Dagupan Inc. headed by Ronnie Cayabyab to close ranks so together they can better hurdle the challenges posed on them during these difficult and trying times.
De Venecia, along with her husband former Speaker Joe de Venecia joined the Ulupan and cheered with its members when they held their first assembly at CSI Stadia last week to chart the future of their organization and plot new avenues for the growth of their members.
Host of the assembly was Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez.
Members of the Ulupan come from marginal families, mostly in the island barangays of Dagupan whose only means of living is fishing in rivers or in the sea.
Most of them were affected when the city administration suddenly uprooted their fish pens and fish traps from the rivers of Dagupan from where they derived their livelihood and food everyday.
Manay Gina already allocated P500,000 for the livelihood program of the group last year and intends to release an equal amount next month to boost the capitalization of members in fish vending, fish processing and in buying fishing gears..
She released the amount last year when informed by Fernandez that most residents of the island barangays lost their means of livelihood when the city administration, without warning, tore their fish pens and fish traps without any alternative livelihood given them.
The move brought great havoc to them as their children were later forced to quit school as without any means of living, they can no longer sustain their education.
“Mapalad kayo at nandiyan si Ate Belen ninyo na nakakaintindi sa inyong kalagayan at siyang nagsabi sa akin ng inyong pangangailangan,” Manay Gina said.
Manay Gina and Fernandez vowed to help each other push a better agenda for the marginal fishermen of Dagupan City so that they can continue their livelihood and earn to ensure that they can send their children to school and see them graduate as professionals.
Former Speaker Jose De Venecia also promised slots for children of members of the Ulupan in the De Venecia Scholarship Foundation so that they can earn their college education and join the ranks of professionals in Dagupan.
Noting that fish pens are now slowly coming back in many rivers of Dagupan, reportedly owned by those identified with the city administration, members of the Ulupan said the need to close rank is even more pressing when marginal fishermen seem to be treated unkindly.
They said they need leaders like Manay Gina and Fernandez who are pro-poor and pro-fishermen all the way.