By Joseph Pedrajas
A fish worker in the fishing capital of the Philippines, Navotas City, has one wish to the newly proclaimed mayor—modernization of the fish port.
Joel Taytayon, 37, a kargador or a porter who carries the newly caught seafood from the fishers and sells to the buyer, wishes that a pumping station be built at the port.
“Sana magkaroon ng pumping station para ma-pump ang tubig tuwing may baha (I hope that there would be a pumping station when there is flood),” he told the Manila Bulletin.
Every high tide or when there is a heavy rainfall, Taytayon said, the water clogs on the dry dock and rises up to knee level.
“Kaya nga sana mapataas din ‘tong lugar namin para hindi na kami bahain, kasi naapektuhan ang trabaho namin ( I’m wishing that our dry dock be elevated so that our work will not be affected),” he added.
“Mahirap kumilos. Minsan yung mga tinda namin na nakalagay sa lapag, inaaabot ng tubig (It’s hard to work. Sometimes, the flood gets to our goods),” he said.
Taytayon, who works only from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., said that his meager earnings are also affected because there are few buyers when there is flood.
He also hopes that the Navotas Fish Port, being tagged as the fishing capital of the country, can be at par with General Santos.
“Mas maganda raw sa GenSan. Mas maayos. Mas malinis (They said, GenSan is better. Cleaner and more organized),” he said.
On Tuesday, Toby Tiangco has been proclaimed by the board of canvassers as the new Navotas City mayor. He will replace his brother, the outgoing third-termer Mayor John Rey Tiangco, once he has assumed office.
Toby Tiangco already served three terms before—from 2000 to 2010, and has sought for a comeback.
Taytayon, who has been working at the fish port for at least 10 years, said that while there had been improvements done at the fish port in at least 21 years of Tiangco brothers administration, those are not yet enough.
He hopes that this time, incoming mayor Toby Tiangco will finally resolve their concern.
“Isa ‘yun [modernization ng fish port] sa mga nabanggit niya [Tiangco] noong nangangampanya sya,” he added.