Mayor Beng Climaco has commended the sardines industry in Zamboanga City for its sustainability that greatly contributed to the unprecedented progress and development of this city, where almost 80% of the country’s supply of sardines are canned and processed in this part of the region.
“Zamboanga, one of the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, is very much thankful to the SOPHIL (Southern Philippines) Deep Sea Fishing Association and the Industrial Group for their contribution to the economic development of the city,” Climaco said during the 4th National Sardines Industry Congress last Wednesday at Palacio del Sur.
Themed “Integrating Technology for Sardines Sustainability and Balanced Economy,” the three-day event was organized by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and SOPHIL with Agriculture Undersecretary Rodolfo Vicerra as guest of honor. Highlight of the congress was the Sardines Industry Trade Exhibit.
In her message, Climaco said the sardines industry is now utilizing the latest technology that jibes with “our dreams to catapult the industrial sector of Zamboanga by ensuring they start up through technology and innovations to boost the development and progress of the city.”
The mayor further said she even took pride of the city’s sardines industry during her recent participation in the global conference dubbed “BRIDGE for Cities 4.0” event organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria.
Climaco said the city government under her administration has embarked on urban sustainability challenge, showcasing the Sta. Cruz Islands and the “Once Islas” eco-cultural tourism destination, and “how we are making use of what we have to protect the environment without losing sight to cultural sensitivity and diversity.”
Few years back, she said attempts were made to oppose the fishing ban or the closed fishing season, owing to the thousands of workers that will be affected. “But it had to be done then, as it is being done yearly, as part of the climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. Today, we are reaping the rewards of it (closed fishing season). But there must have a very good steward to ensure food or fish security in the future,” Climaco said.-(Vic Larato)