July 1, 2016
BFAR celebrates 69th anniversary, commits to sustain progress under new admin
Keen to sustain the progresses it has achieved in the past years, the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources celebrates its 69th founding anniversary with a renewed commitment to deliver more and better services to the fisheries industry.
Embracing this year’s theme, “69 Years of Service: Counting and Continuing BFAR’s Best,” the occasion puts the spotlight on the milestones the agency has reached in the past decades with the goal of inspiring the whole bureau to work even harder in the service of the Filipino people.
At the start of the celebration, a ceremonial turnover of key of responsibility took place between outgoing Undersecretary for Fisheries Atty. Asis G. Perez and incoming BFAR National Director Eduardo B. Gongona.
In his short speech, Perez congratulated the new BFAR chief and wished him the best with his new post. He also expressed sincere gratitude to all BFAR employees for supporting him and urged them to accord incoming Director Gongona with the same level of support.
“I am very much thankful and honored that for more than five years I was given the opportunity of leading the dedicated public servants of the bureau and serving the country’s fisheries industry,” said Perez, who has served as BFAR National Director from 2011-2016 and concurrent Undersecretary for Fisheries from 2014-2016.
“I congratulate my successor, Director Gongona and wish him all the best. As I thank the whole bureau for their support during my stint, I urged them to rally behind their new leader,” Perez added.
Gongona, meanwhile, thanked Perez for initiating various positive efforts in the Bureau and vowed to implement programs that would further improve the plight of the country’s more than 1.7 million fisherfolk.
Particularly, Gongona will focus on further improving resource protection through intensified fishery law enforcement in order to achieve food security as a result of sustainable fisheries production.
“Food security is one of the utmost priorities of the present administration and we will ensure that this will be attained in the fishery sector. In order to realize this goal however, we should intensify our efforts to enforce our fishery laws and eradicate illegal fishing, so that the very source of livelihood of our fisherfolk is protected and our fisheries production sustained,” said Gongona, who was a retired Philippine Coast Guard Commodore prior his appointment as new BFAR chief.
Right after the ceremonial turnover, the BFAR employees highlighted the anniversary celebration with the Parade of Milestones from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) Covered Court through the immediate section of the Elliptical Road and adjacent stretch of Commonwealth Avenue back to the PCA Compound.
The short procession featured a vibrant display of BFAR’s accomplishments, which included the 1.7 million registered fisherfolk under the National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration or FishR, the growing number of registered fishing boats under the National Program for Municipal Fishing Vessels and Gears Registration or BoatR, and the newly constructed National Fisheries Complex that will soon be BFAR’s permanent home after 69 long years.
Fun games and activities added color to the festivity. This year’s Larong Pinoy at Pangisdaan challenged the agility, speed, and eye-hand coordination of BFAR employees with the “Hito (Catfish) Relay.” Skills on scaling and gutting fish, meanwhile, were put into a test in the game, “Pabilisang Maglinis ng Isda.”
An appreciation program called Salamat-Mabuhay will also take place in the afternoon to honor BFAR employees who have rendered loyal service to the agency for many years. There will also be a tribute to retiring employees and the outgoing BFAR director.