DAGUPAN CITY - Marjorie A. Villanueva, an agricultural technologist of the Dagupan City Agriculture Office has successfully completed her degree in Master of Fisheries Science as scholar of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) at the Graduate School of Global Fisheries at Pukyong National University in Busan, South Korea from June 29, 2015 to August 30, 2016.
Villanueva was the only Filipino granted the scholarship by KOICA after passing the selection process conducted by the Korean Embassy, the KOICA office and the Pukyong National University, along with 19 other scholars from different target countries located in Asia, Africa, Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Villanueva successfully defended her thesis entitled “Isolation and Characterization of Bacteria Associated with a Marine Dinoflagellate and Studies on the Interaction with Microalgae” after conducting a successful series of laboratory works and studies at the Virus Laboratory, Microbiology Department of Pukyong National University (PKNU).
“My aim actually was to find a friendly virus which will neutralize the pathogenic bacteria that causes the massive death of many marine species in our rivers but I ended up isolating the bacteria associated with a marine dinoflagellate and luckily my work was successful and I was able to integrate it with microalgae which can be useful in our aquaculture industry,” said Villanueva.
While in Korea, Villanueva was also invited to speak at the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries during the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement for the establishment of Food and Agriculture Organization for developing countries.
She also attended the World Fisheries Congress, the 9th World Ocean Forum 2015 and the Busan International Seafood and Fishing Exposition at Bexco, Busan, South Korea and the KOICA – PKNU International Workshop at Pukyong National University which was part of her scholarship program.
“I was surprised to learn that in the exposition, one of the participants who hails from Pampanga, has brought in bangus products grown in Sual, Pangasinan and their presentation was good,” said Villanueva.
Villanueva hopes to apply what she learned from Korea in boosting the city’s fishery industry especially in maintaining a clean and highly sanitize deboning center and in adopting the Korean’s practices in the operation and maintenance of a standard and good manufacturing practices.
“We could also probably adopt a system in maintaining the cleanliness of our rivers with some restrictions on the number of allowable fishing farm and pinpointing a certain area for growing oyster, seaweeds, among others,” said Villanueva.
Villanueva disclosed that South Korea has maintained a no structure policy in their rivers, dredge their rivers from time to time and provide alternative livelihood to fisherfolks when they reach the maximum sustainable yield by buying back their fishing gears or vessels so that their rivers will be able to breath for a while until the next fishing season.
Villanueva was grateful for the opportunity and thanks Mayor Belen T. Fernandez for allowing her to study in Korea for 14 months with all the moral support and words of encouragement. She is likewise thankful to City Administrator Farah Marie G. Decano, lawyer Jocelyn Ibaan and Public Employment and Service Office head Joy Siapno who accorded her the same moral support. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)