by Secretary Emmanuel Piñol
Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte - On the first leg of a 5-province journey which started Monday, July 13, I dropped by this coastal town, popularly known as SND, to check on its potentials for Bangus Fish Cage Farming.

The meeting with Mayor Mutalib Dimaporo, son of the former mayor after whom the town was named, was quick and informal.

Being old friends, we just sat on benches beside the gymnasium and discussed how the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) could assist in the development of his town.

Mayor Mutalib, who took over the leadership of this town following the assassination of his father in a mosque in Quiapo, Manila many years ago, said his town needed more irrigation facilities for the rice farms and access roads.

He also wanted to develop fisheries because his town, the only Lanao del Norte town facing the Moro Gulf, has a 30-kilometer coastal line and a newly-completed fish port.

In the past, attempts were made in producing Bangus from fish cages but the project stopped because of the lack of post-harvest facilities and access to the market.

I shared with him the MinDA Plan to engage Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Bangus Fish Cage Farming adding that his town is being considered as one of the sites.

The project would involve the establishment of an Ice-Making Factory and cold-storage facilities.

Funds for these projects could be sourced from the P3.5-B Grant from the European Union, more than half of which will be for projects handled by MinDA through the GIZ and WB-PRDP.

The projects are expected to provide employment to the local prople and earn revenues for the 3rd Class Municipality.

Mayor Dimaporo welcomed the proposal and expressed eagerness in MinDA’s offer of technical assistance in crafting a development plan for the town.

With a population of about 60,000 of which about 40% are Maranaos and 60% Visayans, SND is a perfect example of a town with peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians.

The introduction of livelihood projects and processing facilities plus the promise of access to the market could help SND realize the dream of becoming a First Class Municipality.

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