SAN JOSE, Antique – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 6 assisted around 910 seaweed farmers from four island barangays in Caluya town due to rabbitfish or “danggit” infestation.
The Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) Program of DOLE-6 gave emergency employment for 10 days to provide temporary source of income to affected seaweed farmers from barangays Harigue, Sibay, Bonbon and Bacong.
Working as TUPAD beneficiaries at a minimum wage, affected farmers temporarily suspended seaweed farming and instead conducted coastal clean-up, beautification of surroundings and cleaning of canals and drainage to mitigate dengue occurrence in their barangays.
The local government unit of Caluya, the leading producer of seaweeds in the region, recently said a total of 1,687 seaweed farmers were affected with 307,394 seaweed monolines infested by the rabbitfish at Panagatan Islets of Barangay Harigue while around 1,280 seaweed farmers from other barangays were affected by the infestation.
The monoline is the polyethylene rope about 20 meters in length where the seaweeds seedlings are being attached using a straw lace so that it could grow.
Caluya is the sole island municipality in Antique. It has been ranked as one of the largest producers of seaweeds in the country. Seaweed production is one of the major sources of income of locals. It has a total area of 1,528 hectares purely concentrated for seaweed culture. (With a report from Donnabelle Baldonado/DOLE-6/PN)