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Press Release
Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
29 May 2013

BFAR Launches FishR Program

Manila Philippines – Graced by over a hundred participants representing fisherfolk groups, partner agencies,  media networks, and other concerned organizations, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) launched its National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration or FishR last May 22, 2013 at Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Manila.

FishR is designed to assist local government units to comply with the provision of RA 8550 or the Fisheries Code of 1998 which provides for the registration of municipal fisherfolk. The Bureau had devised mechanisms to ensure the full implementation of this program, which admittedly is long-overdue, in close partnership with all coastal cities and municipalities.

"The municipal fisheries sector provides 27 percent of the country’s close to five million metric tons total volume of fish produce. This is higher than the contribution of the commercial fishing sector at 21 percent. It is however lamentable that this sector composed of more than one million fishermen remains to be the poorest of the poor," said BFAR Director Atty. Asis G. Perez.

Through FishR, the bureau would be able to know how to serve the fishermen better with the intent of recognizing them as BFAR’s real beneficiaries. The bureau also seeks to deliver its service right at every fisherman’s doorstep, efficiently and effectively.

Knowing the everyday risks encountered by our fishermen, BFAR, through the said program, is bent on providing fisherfolk with medical and health insurance proposed to be allotted with 200 million pesos worth of funds.

“We are eyeing for a hundred percent registered fisherfolk nationwide.  And by being a responsible partner to our fishermen, we plan to be successful on this endeavor,” Director Perez added.

The bureau has earmarked some Php30 million to ensure the complete fisherfolk registration all over the country. This budget will be distributed among 899 coastal cities and municipalities in the form of incentives. Through this, fisheries technician officers from the local government units in all coastal cities and municipalities, who will facilitate in the fisherfolk registration, will receive an incentive of Php15.00 per fisherfolk registered.

“All municipalities which completed the registration will qualify for at least 2 million worth of fishery projects by 2014,” Director Perez said.

The bureau director further stressed that FishR is a tool and not just a promise that will serve as an entry point of blessings from our government to the fisherfolk. The launching of the program marks the beginning of the registration which will be conducted in all coastal and municipal local government units nationwide.

FishR is open to all workers in the fisheries sector to include municipal fishermen, fish vendors, fish farmers, and all other workers in allied industries.

A press briefing was held before the launching of FishR which was attended by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala, BFAR Director Asis Perez, and people from various media networks.






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