CORDOVA RECLAMATION PROJECT

Affected Cordova fisherfolk will have alternative livelihood – Mayor Sitoy-Cho

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 18,2022 - 04:01 PM
Cordova Mayor Theresa Sitoy-Cho assures that the town government will provide livelihood for those fisherfolk, who will be displaced by the reclamation project. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

Cordova Mayor Theresa Sitoy-Cho assures that the town government will provide livelihood for those fisherfolk, who will be displaced by the reclamation project. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cordova Mayor Theresa Sitoy-Cho assured fisherfolk that they would not be left behind with the reclamation development undertaken in the town. 

Sitoy-Cho told CDN Digital that plans were underway for an alternative livelihood program for fisherfolk. 

Although the mayor could not give the number of beneficiaries they were targeting for the program, she said the fisherfolk in the affected barangays of Poblacion, Catarman, Guanzon and others would be the priority for such livelihood projects. 

“Nagsturya na mi ana ni Governor (Gwendolyn) Garcia nga magbuhat tag alternative livelihood para nila. Amo sad sila iinvolve sa tourism,” said Sitoy-Cho. 

(We already talked with Governor [Gwendolyn] Garcia that we will create an alternative livelihood for them. We will also involve them to tourism.)

Cordova Mayor Theresa Sitoy-Cho says that fisherfolks can still fish but this time on the deeper portion of the coast because only part of the hunasan or tidal flat will be covered for the reclamation project. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

Cordova Mayor Theresa Sitoy-Cho says that fisherfolk can still fish but this time on the deeper portion of the coast because only part of the hunasan or tidal flat will be covered for the reclamation project. | Delta Dyrecka Letigio

The mayor notes that technically, the fisherfolk can still fish in the deeper parts of the sea because the reclamation will be built on the shallow portions of the coast. 

They may have to move their docks to the other parts of the coast, but they will still be able to fish should they want to. 

“Duna lay hunasan nga matabunan (There will be shallow portions of the coast that will be covered) but we will make sure nga (that) they are not that very much displaced,” she said. 

Still, the mayor said the government understands that the reclamation will affect many fisherfolk families, which is why they are prepared to help them transition through this development. 

Aside from livelihood programs, Cordova will also provide scholarship to children of fisherfolks so that they be prepared for the upcoming economic growth in the area. 

“Even before, amo na ning giandam nga ang mga anak sa mananagat, maandam sila sa development. So gischolar sila sa Municipality, gipaeskwela,” she said.

(Even before, we already prepared this so that the fishermen’s children will be ready for the development of the area.) 

“Ig human sa development, daghan silag employment opportunities. Never silang mabiyaan. I will see to it pud kay mao pud nay gibilin ni Papa, take care of the fisherfolks,” said the mayor. 

(After the development, there will be many employment opportunities for them. They will not be left behind. I will see to it because that is also what my late father told me before he passed away: Take care of the fisherfolks.)

The mayor’s father, late Secretary Adelino Sitoy, had long dreamed of the reclamation project and other developments for Cordova. 

CCLEX main bridge is now complete in this photo taken on October 5, 2021. | Courtesy of Henry Montejo Jr. (file photo)

CCLEX main bridge is now complete in this photo taken on October 5, 2021. | Courtesy of Henry Montejo Jr. (file photo)

He also envisioned the Cebu City-Cordova bridge or Third Bridge, which was realized through the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway. 

Despite the assurances of the mayor, some fisherfolks living near the Roro Port are hesitant about the new development. 

One fisherman, who asked for anonymity, told CDN Digital that it would be difficult for them to fish if the construction would begin. 

“Unsaon man namog pamasol kung layo na ang dagat? Asa man mi puniton?” he said. 

(How can we fish if the sea is far away? Where will we be then?)

A mother who owns a karenderya (eatery) in the same area also said that they were scared of being displaced. 

“Naa man among panginabuhian diri. Wa mi kahibaw unsay mahitabo namo ana. Nya wa man sad miy mahimo, motuman na lang kung pahawaon,” she said. 

(Our livelihood is here. We don’t know what will happen to us. But we can’t do anything, and so we will just comply.)

She asked the mayor that should displacement be done for the project, the town would provide assistance to them. 

It is not yet clear if displacement will actually occur upon the construction of the reclamation area.

Cordova is a third class municipality and is one of the towns of Cebu province. It is situated in the southern part of Mactan Island.

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WATCH: Cordova Mayor Therese Sitoy-Cho on programs for affected fisherfolks

WATCH: Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia speaks during groundbreaking of Cordova recla project

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/dbs

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TAGS: CDN digital, Cordova Mayor Theresa Sitoy-Cho, livelihood, reclamation project

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