CEBU CITY — The local government of Oslob, Cebu is not giving counterpart funds for the purchase of the whale sharks’ food despite earning from the tourism activity.
Oslob Mayor Ronald Guaren said Thursday that the biggest share of the earnings from whale shark watching in the town goes to the fishermen because they are responsible for feeding and protecting the whale sharks.
The whale shark watching and feeding in Oslob started in September last year, and the activity has been drawing hundreds of curious local and foreign tourists from different areas in the country who wanted to see the harmless giants.
Fishermen in Barangay Tan-awan, Oslob, where the whale sharks appear, are spending P2,000 a day to buy krill in other Cebu towns and cities.
Members of the Tan-awan-Oslob Wardens and Fishermen’s Association (Towfa) is buying krill in the cities of Toledo and Danao and towns of Maolboal and Alegria at P90 and P40 per kilo.
Barangay chairman Faustino Hudar said krill or “uyap” is scarce in the Tan awan waters, especially in February, March and April.
With this, he asked the Municipal Government if it could give a counterpart fund for the purchase of krill.
“There is a need to buy krill because the animals won’t come out of the water if you won’t feed them, and we have to sustain the activity as guests keep coming,” Hudar said.
Guaren explained, however, that the fishermen get the biggest share from the whale shark watching operations.
The income from the operation is shared as follows: 60 percent to the Towfa, 30 percent to the municipality, and 10 percent to the general fund of the barangay. (SBG and JAB/Sunnex)