Tacloban City, Philippines – Fishing communities in 500 barangays in 38 municipalities will get a livelihood boost in the next 5 years as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region VIII (BFAR VIII) begins the roll-out of FISHCORAL or the Fisheries, Coastal Resources and Livelihood this July 2016.
FISHCORAL project will get a P21 million funding per year for five (5) years from International Foundation for Agricultural Develoment (IFAD), a United Nations subsidiary specifically focusing on marine resources development in poverty-stricken areas.
Dr. Juan Albaladejo, BFAR VIII Regional Director, said that the program will involve hiring of community facilitators, sustainability thrusts on marine resources, and livelihood projects in the barangays and municipalities identified.
“70% of the amount will go to livelihood projects,” Albaladejo said.
He narrated that this kind of set-up was taken up from lessons in the past wherein fisherfolks were not really given support in terms of economic sustainability the reason why they remained in poverty.
Albaladejo said that the FISHCORAL project is actually a part of the Special Area for Agriculture Development or SAAD which will focus on curbing poverty incidence in the top ten poorest provinces in the country which include Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar as directed by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
“The livelihood will be determined by the communities,” the BFAR regional chief said.
He said that this is in total contrast to previous programs of the government wherein the identification of the projects starts from the higher echelon of the agency.
The fisheries and aquatic bureau regional head admitted that old kind of set-up was not beneficial to the fishing communities.
“There were programs being implemented that are not necessarily applicable on ground,” he lamented.
FISHCORAL started this July with the training of community facilitators. “They will be at the foot soldiers of the project,” Albaladejo said.
The project will basically cover the coastal municipalities and barangay along Matarinao Bay, Maqueda Bay, Cancabato Bay, Carigara Bay, Villareal Bay and Irong-irong Bay.(Bryan Azura)