Girl Scouts from Bohol Save a Fish Sanctuary

The grown and aligned propagules planted by the GSP Troop 113 of Bohol Council at the coastline of Sitio Can-Icong.
Members of Troop 113 with Dr. Cristina Lim Yuson, GSP 1st National Vice President (middle) during the project evaluation.
A local fisherman of Sitio Can-Icong shows his harvest of crabs to the members of GSP PHL projects evaluators.

The Girl Scouts of the Philippines (GSP) awarded the highest honor (1st Place) to Senior Troop 113 of Holy Cross Academy of Bohol Council for its project entry to the Pilar Hidalgo Lim Troop Achievement Award in May 2013.

The Pilar Hidalgo Lim Troop Achievement award is given to a troop of Girl Scouts to encourage them to become proactive in community development projects and to memorialize the significant role of Mrs. Pilar Hidalgo Lim in the formal organization of the GSP.

The Mangrove Reforestation in Sitio Can-Icong of Barangay Macaa in Tubigon, Bohol is a proof of the Girl Scouts’ contribution in saving a fish sanctuary.

For many years in the past, Sitio Can-Icong used to be known for its bountiful harvest of fish and seashells that supplies Macaa and nearby barangays; it has been home to thousands of mangrove trees that served as haven to various species of fish, seashells, and seaweeds.

Recently, however, due to some unknown and unrecorded reasons, the mangrove habitat became barren. Fish and other marine organisms became scarce and the once abundant harvest being gathered by the 50 families living in the village declined.

This problem alarmed even the municipal leaders and prompted them to issue protective measures and to impose stricter rules prohibiting the practice of dynamite blasting and other illegal fishing methods to protect the fish sanctuary.

The Girl Scouts, in coordination with the local Fishermen’s Association, the Rotary Club of Tubigon and the Department of Agriculture, initiated necessary measures in saving the area through Mangrove Planting.

In September 2012, 75 Girls Scouts, accompanied by their troop leaders, and Delia Lasco, school principal and chair of the GSP District Committee, planted 1,500 mangrove propagules in about half-hectare of the mangrove swamp of Sitio Can-Icong.

The project yielded positive results after a year. The mangroves had grown to one and half meters even though the onslaught of Typhoon Sendong (International name Washi) in the place resulted to uprooting of 45 mangrove trees. Concerned villagers have immediately replanted mangrove propagules in the area.

Local representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) visited the place and admired the grown and aligned propagules. This inspired them to offer incentives and encourage the families of the fishermen to secure the propagules and plant more to fill up the 15 hectares coastline of the area.

In February 2012, the immediate families of the fishermen, spearheaded by Rolando Caba Sr., President of Local Macaa Fishermen continued what was started by Girl Scout Troop 113.

At present, more than 75,000 propagules have been planted from the coast of Can-Icong up to the boundary of Barangay Cabulijan.  The mangrove planting by the people still continues up to now and is being replicated by other surrounding barangays in Bohol.