Tolentino pays homage to fisherfolk in Iloilo’s ‘center of commercial fishing’

April 22, 2024 People's Tonight 56 views

SEN. Francis “Tol” Tolentino paid homage to fisherfolk in the fishing town of Estancia in Iloilo, known as a “center of commercial fishing,” as the town celebrated its “Panagat Festival” over the weekend.

A second-class municipality, Estancia earned the monicker “center for commercial fishing,” a term used since the 1900s when major commercial fishing activities were recorded based on historical accounts.

“Aking ipinapahayag ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat at pagkilala sa inyong mga mangingisda. Ang inyong mahalagang kontribusyon sa industriya ng pangisdaan ay hindi lamang nagbibigay-buhay sa inyong mga tahanan, kundi pati na rin sa buong rehiyon at bansa,” Tolentino said, during the opening of the Panagat Festival.

The lawmaker addressed the crowd, Iloilo Vice Gov. Christine Garin and Estancia Mayor Mary Lynn Mosqueda.

He took note of the town’s rich fishing resources, culture, and history, which make the town an emerging model of progress.

“Nais ko ring pasalamatan ang inyong lokal na pamahalaan ng Estancia sa kanilang walang sawang suporta sa ating mga mangingisda at sa buong industriya. Ang inyong pagmamalasakit at suporta sa kanila ay nagpapakita ng patuloy na pag-unlad at pag-angat ng inyong bayan,” Tolentino shared.

He considers the celebration of the Panagat Festival “a beacon of hope, a symbol of unity, and a celebration of the indomitable spirit of our fishermen,” which “serves as a reminder of the deep-rooted connection between our people and the sea—a connection that has sustained us for generations and continues to define who we are as a nation.”

Tolentino reminded thefisherfolk not to forget their challenges—from dwindling fish stocks to the ever-present threat of natural disasters, which constantly puts their livelihoods at risk.

“Yet, in the face of adversity, they remain steadfast in their commitment to their craft, their communities, and their country,” he added.

Tolentino pledged his unwavering support for the fisher folks’ welfare and rights. He said his “solemn duty is to champion your cause, amplify your voices, and ensure that you receive the recognition, respect, and resources you rightfully deserve.”