DA to establish 252 community fish landing centers nationwide

February 7, 2015 1:40 pm 

By Cielito M. Reganit

TANZA, Cavite, Feb. 6 (PNA) — As part of it efforts to improve the socioeconomic conditions of fisherfolk communities that have high poverty incidence, the Department of Agriculture formally launched on Friday a program that aims to establish 252 Community Fish Landing Centers (CFLCs) in strategic areas nationwide.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Senator Cynthia Villar, the chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, led the project launching held at the Oasis Hotel in Tanza, Cavite that was attended by high ranking government officials, congressmen, local executives and fisherfolk leaders from across the country.

Alcala said the CFLCs would be established by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) under the umbrella program called Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation (TARGET) that was launched in November last year.

“The construction of the CFLCs is part of the government’s commitment to deliver precise interventions and promote inclusive growth in the fishery sector,” he said.

The Agriculture chief said the project seeks to reduce fisheries post-harvest losses from the usual 25 percent to about 18 percent or even lower.

Costing PhP2.85 million each, the fish landing centers will house post-harvest equipment and tools that will enable fisherfolk to preserve the good quality of their fish and other fishery products which they sell at higher prices.

“Local consumers will also benefit from the fish landing centers as they will have better access to safe and quality fishery commodities,” Alcala said.

“The facilities will likewise be opened as venues for skills training for disaster-resilient fisheries-based livelihoods and resource management such as monitoring fish catch and stock assessment,” he added.

BFAR Director Asis Perez said the agency made use of its own fisherfolk database and the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture along with the assistance of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) in determining the sites where the CFLCs would 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, the CFLCs will be operated by the local government beneficiaries and later on by fisherfolk cooperatives,” Perez said.

During the program, BFAR also announced the first 100 municipalities which completed their fisherfolk databases under the national program for municipal fisherfolk registration (FishR).

Each municipality will receive fisheries livelihood projects amounting to PhP2 million from BFAR.

BFAR, in partnership with Smart Communications Inc., also launched the Boat Admeasurement Mobile Application to fast-track the national program for the registration of municipal fishing vessels and gears called BoatR.

Under the partnership, BFAR will provide municipal agriculture officers with Smart-powered tablets where the mobile application can be accessed.

Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, who was among the Cabinet officials present at the program launching, lauded the CFLC project and said that her agency will give its full support to the program.

“This is a long overdue program and we at DOLE are very happy for the project as it increases employment and livelihood opportunities for our fisherfolk. We are ready to assist DA and BFAR, especially on the skills training and livelihood part of the CFLC project,” Baldoz said.

NAPC Secretary Jose Rocamora likewise voiced full support for the CFLC.

“This project would play a significant role in uplifting the lives of our fishermen and reducing poverty incidence in the fisheries sector,” he said.

For her part, Senator Villar expressed optimism for the development these projects would bring to the fisheries sector, especially the poor fisherfolk and fish workers.

“I am very happy that the DA is making good progress in realizing our goals in promoting inclusive growth in the coastal areas where poverty incidence is high. Properly managed and operated, I am confident that the CFLCs would bring economic development to our fisherfolk,” she said.

“Let us continue our concerted and collective programs for the benefit of the sector,” Villar said. (PNA)



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