Loay Backyard Industry in Bohol

Loay, being a coastal town south of main land Bohol and east of Tagbilaran City (some 20 kilometers from it), had been heavily active in illegal fishing in times past. Today, the government is helping the people to find alternative livelihood through the Loay backyard industry.

In the old days most of the coastal people of Loay got their livelihood from hunting dolphins whale sharks, whales, and mantra rays which were abundant in the Loayan sea. But the government had changed all that by helping the town develop Loay backyard industry ventures.

The government outlawed fishing of endangered sea species and dynamite fishing and other harmful fishing methods in the area. It also banned underwater activities that harm corals and reefs in the area. Today, the Loayan sea has been declared a protected area, though there are some reports of illegal fishing still observed in some parts. A great number of townsfolk turned to Loay backyard industry projects.

A major Loay backyard industry is goat raising. The government introduced goat raising as an added livelihood to augment the income of farmers. Seminars have been held for the purpose. The advantage in this livelihood is that goats are easy to raise compared to other domesticated animals and even women and children can help raise them.

Another popular Loay backyard industry is bolo-making (native hatchet-making). Bolos are used as an implement in farming and wood cutting. A number of Loayans are engaged as blacksmiths or “panday” and have become experts in the trade using manual and improvised equipments. Loay is a popular source of fine crafted bolos in Bohol.

Men and women are also becoming active in the manual fabrication of a roofing material made of Nipa leaves. Tourist sites being rampantly mushrooming on the Bohol landscape, the demand for this roofing material in constructing native nipa huts is growing. This Loay backyard industry is fast gaining a lucrative reputation among the people.

In fact, along a portion of the panoramic Loboc-Loay River can be seen a huge area dedicated to nipa palm plantation. This helps for a sustainable Loay backyard industry on nipa leaves for a roofing material. The river also helps provide livelihood for local crews serving in the popular River Cruise.

Loay people also benefit from other Loay backyard industry activities like systematic farming, saguran weaving, copra production, tuba gathering (a motor fuel alternative), souvenir marketing, and nipa thatching.

The Loay backyard industry alternatives will shoot four birds with a stone: they will wipe out illegal fishing, improve Loay tourism, improve the people’s livelihood, and bolster their morale.