Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
10 January 2014
DA-BFAR EXEC LAYS OUT PLANS FOR 2014, URGES EMPLOYEES TO DOUBLE OUTPUT FOR FISHERY SECTOR
The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) gets seven percent increase in national budget from last year’s 4.6 billion pesos.
“With a budget of close to five (5) billion pesos this 2014, it’s definitely good news because we will be able to utilize more funds to implement livelihood programs and projects for the fisheries sector,” BFAR director Asis Perez said. He then encouraged employees to double their efforts at work as more output is expected following the increase in budget.
Bringing the fore is the acquisition of 27 units of 40-footer and 70 units of 30-footer multi-mission vessels to strengthen government visibility and sea patrol activities in areas inside the Philippine waters. By the end of 2014, Perez eyes total deployment of the said floating assets.
The bureau expects consistency of good performance by common fish commodities such as bangus (milk fish), galunggong (round scad), and tilapia after registering positively during the last three quarters of 2013 with 5.49%, 21.07% and 2.39% increase in production. Perez, however, said that the increase in production is not the only indication of a flourishing fishery sector. The bureau, according to Perez, is targeting distribution of post-harvest equipment and establishment of at least 21 fish ports and seven (7) Ice Plant and Cold Storage (IPCS) facilities in strategic locations this year, to raise the value of fishery products and commodities.
Following grant of fishing access by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Australia, December last year, the Philippines will continuously send its fishing fleet to tuna-rich high seas pocket 1 (HSP1) until 2017. This guarantees the country some 40, 000 – 50, 000 metric tons (MT) of tuna catch per annum equivalent to 4B pesos income for the fishery sector.
Fisherfolk and individuals whose livelihood is related to fishing may still register their names under the National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) at their local barangay or municipal halls. To date, there are already close to 400, 000 registered fisherfolk in the country based on the bureau’s database system.
BFAR, this year, will also widen the scope of the National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) and include other areas in the country. This will ensure a more extensive assessment of the country’s major fishing grounds—only 20% at present—for effective management.
Meanwhile, barely six weeks into its launching, the Ahon! Sampung Libong Bangka Para Sa Dalawampung Pamilya has already rallied a total of 4, 272 units of fishing boats or bancas out of materials and cash contributions from partner agencies, civil society and the private sector. These fishing boats are expected to benefit around 8, 540 fisherfolk-families in typhoon-hit coastal communities in the Visayas.
BFAR is maximizing preparations for the completion of the remaining 5, 728 units of fishing boats to be distributed in February, next month.