Kidapawan residents get free tilapia to grill at ‘Sugba sa Plaza’
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato, Philippines — Thousands of residents here feasted on Tuesday, May 30, on grilled locally-grown tilapia given to them for free by the city government as it culminated its farmers’ month, part of the year-round celebration of its 25th charter anniversary.
Mayor Jose Paolo Evangelista said the tasty tilapia were bought from at least 20 farmers who were given free fingerlings by the city on Feb. 12 this year, the city’s 25th charter day.
Farmers raised the fingerlings, which once grown, were then bought back by the city government as an aid to farmers.
According to the mayor, the city agriculturist’s office has bought back at least 1,350 kilograms of tilapia from more than 20 fisherfolk covered by the project.
At least P200,000 has been allocated by the city to buy fresh tilapia from the fisherfolk beneficiaries who are now producing at least 1,000 kilograms of the fish per week.
But Evangelista said the farmers were still producing exclusively for the Kidapawan public at present.
“Some other time when we have an excess of tilapia in the city, we can help our fisherfolks by marketing these to other places,” he said.
To participate in the event, the city allotted 40 tickets each for participants in 10 city villages with the biggest population — Poblacion, Singao, Sudapin, Lanao, Balindog, Paco, Amas, Nuangan, Manongol, and Magsaysay.
The remaining 30 villages were given only 30 tickets.
Marshals, however, only gave an hour for each batch of 300 participants to grill and eat their tilapia with patel or rice. When their time was up, another batch of participants took over.
The city agriculture office also established grilled stations and tents with tables and chairs for visitors.