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Under the Reorganization Plan No. 30-A, reorganizing the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources as implemented by Executive Order No. 216, dated November 17, 1956, the Bureau of Fisheries was reorganized again, effective January 16, 1957, such that functional divisions of the Bureau were reduced from seven to five, namely, (1) Licenses and Regulations Divisions; (2) Marine Fisheries Division; (3) Fisheries Research Division; (4) Inland Fisheries Division; and (5) Administrative Services Division.

The Philippine Institute of Fisheries Technology was transferred to the University of the Philippines. The seven secondary schools of fisheries in the provinces previously mentioned were transferred to the Department of Education, under the administration of the Bureau of Public Schools.

On March 20, 1963, Republic Act 3512 reorganized the Bureau of Fisheries into the Philippine Fisheries Commission. On September 30, 1972, under the Integrated Reorganization Plan, the Philippine Fisheries Commission was reverted to the Bureau of Fisheries. By virtue of Presidential Decree No. 461, signed on May 17, 1974, which reorganized the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Natural Resources, the Philippine Fisheries Commission was renamed Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and placed under the Ministry of Natural Resources.

On June 30, 1984, BFAR was transferred from the Ministry of Natural Resources to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, in compliance with Executive Order 967, mandating the conversion of BFAR as a staff Bureau and integrating its Regional Offices with the Regional Offices of the Department of Agriculture. The staff functions of the Central Office and the integration of BFAR's Regional Offices into Regional Offices of the Department of Agriculture was fully implemented with the issuance of Executive Order 116, signed by President Corazon Aquino on January 30, 1987.

After undergoing a series of reorganizations, BFAR today has nine (9) functional divisions: the Fisheries Policy Research and Economics Division, Fishery Resources Administration Division, Fisheries Development and Support Services Divisions, Aquaculture Division, Fisheries Resources Research Division, Exclusive Economic Zone Fisheries and Allied Services Division, Fishing Technology Division, Fisheries Regulation and Quarantine Division, and Post Harvest Technology Division. It also has eight (8) Fisheries Technology Centers under its wing: National Marine Fisheries Development Center, National Brackishwater Aquaculture Technology Research Center, National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Research Center, Tanay Freshwater Experimental Station, Fisheries Biological Station Complex, National Fisheries Research and Development Center, National Seaweeds Technology and Development Center, and the Mindanao Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center.

On February 25, 1998, President Fidel V. Ramos signed into law Republic Act. No. 8550, entitled, "An Act providing for the Development, Management and Conservation of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Integrating All Laws pertinent thereto and for Other Purposes", otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. This law took effect on March 23, 1998.

This Code is very significant as it provided for the reconstitution of BFAR as a line bureau under the Department of Agriculture, and created the position of Undersecretary for Fisheries solely for the purpose of attending to the needs of the fishing industry. As a line bureau, BFAR shall be headed by a Director, assisted by two Assistant Directors, who shall supervise the administrative and technical services of the bureau respectively. It shall establish regional, provincial, and municipal offices, as may be appropriate and necessary to carry out efficiently and effectively the provisions of this Code. As proposed, BFAR will have eleven (11) divisions and (8) fisheries technology centers.

The National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) was created to serve as the research arm of BFAR, attached to the Department of Agriculture. The governance of NFRDI shall be vested in the Governing Board, composed of nine (9) members. It shall have a separate budget specific to its manpower requirements and operations to ensure the independent and objective implementation of its research activities. The Code, likewise, provided for the creation of the National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (NFARMC) as an advisory and recommendatory body to the Department of Agriculture, composed of fifteen (15) members. The members of NFARMC, except for the Undersecretary of Agriculture and the DILG Secretary, shall be appointed by the President upon the nomination of their respective organizations.

 

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