PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) is planning to establish 252 Community Fish Landing Centers (CFLCs) across the country to improve the socio-economic conditions of fishing communities with high poverty incidence.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala launched the project in Tanza, Cavite, on Friday, 6 February.
The CFLCs are under BFAR’s umbrella program Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation (TARGET), which was launched in November last year.
“The construction of the fish landing centers is part of the government’s commitment to deliver precise interventions and promote inclusive growth in the fishery sector,” said Mr Alcala.
The DA, through the BFAR, is targeting to reduce fisheries post-harvest losses from 25 per cent to 18 per cent or even lower, he added.
The CFLCs, each costing P2.85 million, will house post-harvest equipment and tools that will enable fisherfolk to preserve the good quality of their fish and fishery products, which they could sell for a higher price. Local consumers will also benefit from the fish landing centers as they will have better access to safe and quality fishery commodities. The facilities will also be opened as venues for skills trainings on disaster-resilient fisheries-based livelihoods and resource management such as monitoring fish catch and stock assessment.
BFAR national director Asis G. Perez said the bureau made use of its own fisherfolk database and the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA) of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) with the assistance of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) in determining the sites where the CFLCS will be established.
Based on NAPC’s recommendation, the areas were assessed based on poverty incidence, municipal density, fish production, number of registered fisherfolk and number of existing fish ports and fish landing areas.
Upon completion, Mr Perez said, the CFLCs will be operated by the local government units (LGUs) and later on by fisherfolk cooperatives.
Meanwhile, BFAR, in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), launched the Boat Admeasurement Mobile Application to fast track the national programme on the municipal fishing vessels and gears registration (BoatR). Under this programme, BFAR will provide municipal agriculture officers a tablet where the mobile application can be accessed.
BFAR also announced the first 100 municipalities who completed their fisherfolk database under the national programme for municipal fisherfolk registration or FishR. Mr Perez said each municipality will receive fisheries livelihood projects amounting to P2 million from the bureau.
Senate Committee Chair on Agriculture and Food Sen. Cynthia Villar expressed optimism for the development these projects would bring the fisheries sector especially the fisherfolk and fish workers.
“The government, through the DA, is making progress in realizing our goals. Let us continue our concerted and collective programs for the benefit of the sector,” she said.
TheFishSite News Desk