GenSan builds shrine honoring fishermen
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – “They may have been lost forever but their enormous contribution to the city will forever be etched in our memory,” Mayor Ronnel Rivera said, referring to the over 300 fishermen who went missing at sea at the height of Typhoon Pablo in December 2012.
Rivera said as a tribute to the fishermen, the city government built a memorial shrine at the Plaza Heneral Santos. The shrine faces Pendatun Avenue.
Rivera said the city engineering office has prioritized the construction of the edifice and was part of the beautification efforts at Plaza Heneral Santos.
But more than efforts for beautification, he said the shrine will serve as a reminder to residents how fishermen risk their lives just to make their families – and the city as whole – financially stable.
The fishing industry remains the city’s main economic driver with over 120,000 metric tons of various species processed each year.
“Our fishermen brave the high seas to keep the momentum growing,” Rivera said of the city’s tag as the country’s tuna capital for producing about 90 percent of the total tuna production alone.
A total of 372 fishermen aboard 47 fishing vessels from this city and nearby Sarangani Province disappeared while fishing on high seas near Palau and Indonesia when Pablo struck.
Forty-four of them survived but the rest had either died or are still missing to this day.
Some of the families of the missing fishermen said they continue to hope that their love ones will return one day.
While that hope appears to be far-fetched these days, considering the long period they had not been found, Rivera said he too wanted to see the missing fishermen alive.
“There’s nothing fulfilling than seeing them again,” he added. Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao
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