In keeping with MWSS commitments with the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) of the Kabayunan Ancestral Domain in Norzagaray & Doña Remedios Trinidad, Bulacan, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) through the Engineering & Technical Operations Group (ETOG) and the Policy Planning and Public Relations Department (PPPRD), released 40,000 tilapia fingerling at the Ipo Dam Reservoir, Brgy. San Mateo, Norzagaray, Bulacan on 25 March 2021. This was undertaken with the invaluable support of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) PFO Ralphrandt Atabay, NCIP Bulacan CSC ( Karlunette Aglupus), Hon. Amie Panerio, Indigenous Mandatory Representative (IPMR) of LGU Norzagaray, and Tribal Chieftains Ochie Aquino (Sitio Ipo), Mario Cruz (Sitio Sapang Munti) and Rogelio Cruz (Sitio Anginan)
The dispersal is in line with the MWSS’ undertakings to uplift the lives of the ICCs/IPs through livelihood programs, as embodied in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into and between MWSS, Kabayunan Dumagat ICCs and NCIP, relative to the application for the issuance of NCIP Certification Precondition (CP) of MWSS for the Angat Water Transmission Improvement Project (AWTIP).
This comes at a time when the country, especially in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, are experiencing a spike in the Covid-19 pandemic which poses challenges to the way of life and means of livelihood of the ICC/IPs.
BFAR PFO Ralphrandt Atabay said that the tilapia fingerlings were sourced from the BFAR’s hatchery & breeding station in Hagonoy, Bulacan earmarked for release in freshwater areas like Ipo Dam. He also stressed the importance of sustainable fishing practices and the cooperation of the fisherfolks to ensure that fingerlings will flourish and increase the tilapia population in the area.