ZAMBOANGA CITY – While security officials of the current and next administrations are finding means and ways to curb Abu Sayyaf-led atrocities in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi (BaSulTa), incoming agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has delved on vital measures to economically capacitate the people of the three island provinces.
Piñol visited this city recently and announced his plan to put up in Sulu a cold storage that will serve as regional food terminal for BaSulTa, a component of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
His trip formed part of a region-to-region visit and consultation with local government units through his self-styled “Biyaheng Bukid” caravan launched after incoming President Rodrigo Duterte named him agriculture secretary.
In a meeting here with LGU leaders, Piñol stressed that a cold storage would no longer allow BaSulTa fishermen to look for the market “but would merely deliver their catch to the cold storage area.”
Piñol, who grew up in the farming town of Mlang, North Cotabato, said that BaSulTa sea waters boast of profuse supplies of agar-agar (seaweeds) and fish varieties, including tuna and tamban, known as sardine fish.
(Ali G. Macabalang)