Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
December 9, 2012
As usual there were many people doing laundry and bathing.
This woman was drying fish in the sun laid out on the rocks. They’re very small and I don’t think they’re from the river, maybe caught in the sea and brought here to dry as she’s doing her other domestic chores.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
December 6, 2012
|Dennis giving me thumbs up. He works in Solid Waste Management|
December 7, 2012 Letter to Streamkeepers
I'm definitely ok with anything I communicate to Streamkeepers being used and edited for the newsletter.
Today I attended yet another Integrated Coastal Management Planning Workshop for IMFARMC (Integrated Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council) for the 5th District of Leyte. The 5th district includes six municipalities of coastal
Leyte. Leyte is the province (like a state) and municipalities
are like a county. The municipalities are broken into barangays which are like
barios. Or like Seattle having areas such as , Queen Anne,
University and Freemont but on a much smaller scale. At some point a muni can
have a 'city' with different government??? but I haven't got that part figured
out yet. Wallingford
baranguys, nine coastal and 11 upland. The national gov. has relegated coastal
resource management (CRM) to the Municipal Local Government Units (LGUs). My
position is with the LGU. Each municipality is charged with developing a CRM
plan. As I said before ours is weak but at least we have one. Many don't. Many
PCVs are starting from ground zero at their sites. municipality
We have many challenges. Today's homework is to prioritize two project goals from our muni and get the write-up back to
next week so areas of focus and funding can be targeted. With municipal
resources and funding seriously lacking it's funding through the universities
that gets research, studies, assessments and recommendations done. Visayan University
As in the US laws are passed at the national level such as 'municipalities will have sanitary landfills as of five years ago, ha, that is not happening, or munis will establish 10% of their municipal waters as MPAs and enforce regulations of these Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) but the national gov. provides no funding for this enforcement. Most munis have no patrol boats or if they do they have no money for gas for the boats and the only incentive for being an enforcer is a tee-shirt and a cut of the fine money if they ever catch an offender and the charge actually leads to a fine being paid.
The biggest problem and violation is commercial fishing in municipal waters, a no no. But charges never hold up in court because of boundary disputes. Things like political boundaries are decided by the elected legislative body/(city council) through passing of ordinances and these people are always looking out for votes, especially when its election time like now. I don't quite understand why, but for some reason this is why we are having difficulty in delineating our municipal water boundaries.
Politics are very interesting here. The same families stay in power for decades. The provincial governor of
is at the end of his third three year term. He can't run again. His brother is
up for election unopposed. His sister is the mayor of our neighboring muni of
Baybay and was a congress woman previously. They create dynastic power and if
they're corrupt which seems to be the case sometimes it is a bad situation. One
fellow CRM PCV from another area had a very difficult time. Her mayor owned the
commercial fishing boat that was doing illegal fishing using dynamite (destroys
the coral reefs). No body does anything about it. Everyone looks the other way.
Enforcement and support for enforcement seems to be the going concern and at the forefront of all these management planning workshops. The big joke at our first conference with our prospective site bosses and counterparts was them asking if they could put us to work in CRM enforcement. Answer: no
I would like to see us focus on monitoring, doing regular assessments and establishing a centralized database so we can network and share the information.
We need easy to understand visual representations, like pie charts and graphs, we can present to fisherfolk that helps them understand the importance and value of MPAs to their livelihoods. They may not be highly educated but they're not stupid and they know fish populations are dwindling. How can we tell them they can't fish here or there where they used to fish or that we need to make the protected areas bigger without showing them why and the proof that it is really improving their fish catch and will continue to do so in the future?
I'll be proposing the idea of something like Streamkeepers with volunteer fisherfolk trained to do assessments. We don't need expensive instruments, just slates, snorkel gear and some gas for the boats. At first my boss, Cito, asked me if the people aren't being paid what's the incentive. After explaining the people would be those who care about the environment and future and they would know they were doing important work providing valuable information used in governmental decision making, he said yes, he thinks it's a good idea we can propose. YES!
We'll see where it goes.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
November 28, 2012
I love our mayor Sylvestre Lamarda. Every day he walks the Baywalk at 4:30 am picking up litter, being a good role model. Here he is supervising the landscaping. They are laying sod. In some places it's solid sod. In other places the one foot sections are cut into smaller and smaller pieces to get more for the buck or I should say peso. Slyvestre told me it is very mahal (expensive) at P150/sq.ft.
November 30, 2012
Thanksgiving came and went without my usual celebrating with family and friends but some other PCVs and I made a plan to meet in Tacloban after Thanksgiving for our own ‘after-Thanksgiving’ celebration.
|yes that is a tower of beer we're having with the best ever meal at Ochos Grill|
It was very fun going to a couple of different ‘coffee shops’. They have real coffee shops. One of them is called Libro. It’s a bookstore with great books, yummy baked goods and fruit smoothies.
They have mall with a cinema. We decided to go to a movie. The choices weren’t great but we decided to go see the latest Twilight movie at 4:00. When we came back it was ‘standing room only’ so had to make another choice? Trouble with Curves is a Clint Eastwood baseball movie with Justin Timberlake as the romantic interest with his daughter. It was an entertaining escape. When I’m sitting in a movie theatre I forget where I am.
We went to a place called Ocho’s where I had the best meal I’ve yet to eat in the
November 15, 2012
I looked outside in the back courtyard to see what was going on. There was a truck with a bunch of rice sacks moving around. I had to laugh. My ex used to make mean comments about 'pigs in a sack'.
|Wella, Wowee and Cookie everpresent in the back courtyard. Swift and Jack too but I don't have pictures of them here.|
|Could it be pigs in a sack?|