This is an Entry to the Government Best Practice Recognition Awards
Adlaw sa Danggit (Siganid Species)
Local Government Unit of Palompon, Leyte
Best practice Focus Area(s)
Leadership, Social and environmental responsibility, Climate Change adaptation or mitigation
The Adlaw sa Danggit is a longtime conceived coastal resource management program of the Local Government Unit of Palompon, Leyte since 1997 as an innovation to the practice of enforcement of the Municipal Ordinance No. 297081203 – Closed Season for Fishing Danggit – a closed season strategy for fishing danggit to save its declining population. It happens every 3rd, 4th & 5th days after the new moon of the months of February, March & April of every year as it is considered their peak spawning season. It is an experiential-immersive, multisectoral community-based program that uses tourism as a tool for nature conservation.
Background and Problem
The danggit species is one of the main products of the sea waters of Palompon, which is widely spread along the coastal barangays. Fishermen enjoy the massive catch of the species because of its abundance until such time that the fishermen felt their dwindling fish catch, especially of the danggit species. To address the problem, the LGU did its best to come up with the best policy and conceptualized an alternative initiative to protect and conserve the declining population of danggit. The “Adlaw sa Danggit” is a closed season strategy for fishing danggit to save its declining population which also afforded all tourists and volunteers to have an actual learning and hands-on fish harvesting and conservation experiences. Hence, it is a tourism activity whose primary objective is nature’s conservation.
Solution and Impact
Looking deep into a more significant impact of the ‘‘Adlaw sa Danggit’’– an experiential-immersive, multisectoral community-based program was the elimination of stress from enforcement but stimulating cooperation from involvement in the activity. The process created an enjoyable means of protecting and preserving the Siganid species, banking on Article V Section 9 of Municipal Ordinance no. 297-081203 that defines a specific closed season for catching the Siganid. Implementation of this preservation, conservation and management scheme is undertaken with due social acceptability with the Municipal Fisherfolks Aquatic Resources Management Council. This closed season is adopted every 4th, 5th, and 6th moon of the months of February, March and April.
Excerpt from the Municipal Ordinance no. 297-081203, Article V Preservation, Conservation & Management:
Section 9. Closed Season – the 4th, 5th and 6th moon of the months of February, March, and April of every year is hereby declared a closed season for Siganid locally known as “Danggit” to freely spawn. Any fishing activity in the shores and coastlines where Siganid usually spawn is strictly prohibited from 6:00 PM until 6:00 AM of the following day of the closed season, provided, that newly spawned gonads shall not be taken or gathered during the closed season and that fish corrals shall be opened or raised up for the fish to spawn.
Zero violators for illegal fishing is also the ultimate key result for compliance of Closed Season for fishing the Siganid because of the clear understanding of the process and its desired effect by the stakeholders. The positive ecological integrity thrust and the economic advantage of the practiced legislated closed season for fishing which is also indicated in the increase of fish catch and the businesses associated with danggit deboning and dried danggit processing and retailing.
Tangible remarkable results and awards were gained by the program such as:
- Gawad Galing Pook National Awardee for Ecological Amelioration for Sustainable Development Program 1997.
- Best Coastal Municipality of the Philippines Award 2000 of League of the Municipalities of the Philippines
- Clad Award 2016 from the Climate Change Commission
- Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) Presidential Award 2017 of DA-BFAR
- Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) Presidential Award 2018 of DA-BFAR