Bolinao folk take war on hatchery to Internet | Inquirer News

Bolinao folk take war on hatchery to Internet

/ 12:20 AM October 02, 2015

PATAR Beach is the most popular tourist destination in Bolinao, Pangasinan. WILLIE LOMIBAO/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

PATAR Beach is the most popular tourist destination in Bolinao, Pangasinan. WILLIE LOMIBAO/INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON

DAGUPAN CITY—Social media have become the battlefield for residents of Bolinao, Pangasinan, who are fighting the construction of a fish hatchery in the town’s ecotourism zone, expressing fear that the project would ruin the town’s tourism industry.

The hatchery would rise in Barangay Patar, which hosts long stretches of white sand beaches.


The town council had approved the hatchery project, which would be operated by Feedmix Specialists Inc., a manufacturer of animal feeds.


In a July 16 resolution, the town council said it gave approval after reviewing a Patar village council resolution endorsing the project, and following a series of consultations with proponents, residents and government agencies.

But Margaret Celeste, chair of  Movement of Bolinao Concerned Citizens Inc. (MBCCI), said in her Facebook post that not one of those who attended the public hearing in March spoke in favor of the project.

MBCCI is a broad coalition of nongovernment organizations that succeeded in blocking a proposed P13-billion cement plant in Bolinao in 1994.

In her Facebook post, Celeste said the next move on the hatchery project could be either to lobby the provincial board to reject it or hold a “grand rally.”

But she said she is still hoping that the town council would withdraw its approval for the project.

The Local Government Code requires review and approval by the provincial board of town council resolutions.


The project could proceed only after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issues an environmental compliance certificate.

On Sept. 27, Nong Celino Albarillo, an overseas Filipino worker from Bolinao, created the FB group “No to Feedmix in Bolinao.”

“The main purpose of this group is to have a venue to air our views, and to give updates and information regarding the project,” Celeste said.

As of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, 1,907 members had joined the group.

Several photos of Patar Beach had been posted on the page inscribed with slogans like “Bolinao did good without the cement plant,” and “Bolinao is better off without Feedmix.”

In a project brief given reporters in March, Feedmix said its facility would be a “state of the art, multispecies hatchery” for high-value marine products, like bangus (milkfish), pompano, shrimp, sea bass, grouper, cobia and others.

Feedmix officials also sought to assure residents and resort owners that no waste water from the proposed plant’s operations would be released to the sea.

But in technical comments dated Sept. 20, 2013, Policarpio Najera, head of the DENR’s Protected Area Wildlife Coastal Zone and Management Services in the Ilocos region, said the hatchery would produce a daily waste water volume of 70 to 80 cubic meters, citing documents submitted to his office.

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A cubic meter of water is 1,000 liters or about five drums. Gabriel Cardinoza and Johanne Margarette Macob, Inquirer Northern Luzon

TAGS: Fishing industry, News, Pangasinan, Regions

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