Bongao | Province of Tawi-Tawi through the Provincial Office of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources received from the Office Bangsamoro MP Amilbahar Mawallil a unit of farm tractor last October 22.

Provincial Agriculturist Radjendra Hussin Tischer, together with MAFAR Provincial Director Aidarus Nami and Agriculture Department Chief Officer Aida Jumli, accepted the agriculture equipment on behalf of Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali and MP Al-syed A. Sali as Mr. Pendatun Patarasa, Assistant of the MAFAR Minister for Special Concerns facilitated the formal turn-over at the MAFAR Provincial Office.

A prospective sea cucumber aquaculture project in Sitangkai was presented to Governor Yshmael “Mang” I. Sali, Board Member Sabuddin N. Abdurahim, and Board Member Atty. John Anthony L. Lim on Tuesday.

During the initial presentation, proponent Domingo T. Cristobal explained sea cucumbers (also called sandfish, ‘balatan’ in Tagalog, ‘bat’ in Sinug) has high market value due to increasing demand resulting in widespread overfishing in Tawi-Tawi and throughout the country.

Cristobal added the project will provide alternative livelihood to coastal residents as sea cucumber is considered one of the expensive seafood products locally priced at Php6,500/kilo at the same time the international market can cost them $3,000 for a kilo. While dried processed sea cucumber has a long shelf life up to approximately ten years.

Governor Sali and the other officials invited the proponent to present to the rest of the provincial officials seeing the potentials of the aquaculture project impact the lives and the economy of the province.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, Tawi-Tawi aquaculture “contributed 52.44 percent of the total regional production,” the highest in BARMM during the second quarter of 2020.