By: April Montes
BOLINAO, Pangasinan – A group of dried fish makers in this town was named Best People’s Organization for demonstrating a community-driven enterprise development program.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) awarded the Santiago Island SEA-K Workers Association of Bolinao (SISWAB), a group of “danggit” makers, during its 63rd anniversary celebration held recently at the central office in Quezon City graced by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
The organization is composed of 108 enterprising women from 20 Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) associations in the island barangay of Bolinao whose main livelihood is “danggit” making.
“Danggit” is dried fish using the ‘barangen’ variety, the raw material is very abundant in Santiago Island. Its production has become a family enterprise to many in this island.
Improving the fish processing and establishing a trading center started merely as concepts and part of the “wish lists” among the producers.
The concept materialized because of DSWD’s convergence strategy and community enterprise development program.
Other regional line agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in coordination with the local government of Bolinao, barangay council provided the support.
With the enhanced “danggit” making, the SISWAB members buy the ‘barangen’ fish from its members for processing, packaging, and selling to customers and prospective market outlets at a standard cost.
A drying machine from DOLE helped in improving the quality and production of processed fish.
The project started with the capital share of SISWAB amounting to P50,000 (provided by the DSWD) and a counterpart fund from the local government amounting to P110,000. The drying machine from DOLE had been approved with the total cost of P424, 400.
For SISWAB members, the improved “danggit” production is not just as a source of income. It also gives more employment and tourism opportunities.#