BFAR, LGUs implements boat registry

As part of the Bureau's aim to reduce poverty incidence among fisherfolk in the country by 4% within the year, the Municipal Fishing Vessel and Gear Registration was implemented.

This effort is under the Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation in the Fishery Sector (TARGET) program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources which was launched in November 2014. The phase I of this program called the Fishing Community and Resource Profiling covers two initiatives: Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) and Boat Registration (BoatR).

BoatR is designed to enhance, fast-track, and complete the nationwide registration of municipal fishing vessels (3 gross tons or below) and municipal fishing gears as required under EO No. 305 s. 2004 and Sec. 19 of RA 8550 otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

Though Cordillera is non-coastal, BoatR is mandated to be implemented among small scale fishers, it being a part of the Bureau's mandate to determine priority areas for project implementations. Planning Officer Arnold L. Paleng said that fishermen in the country remained at the top as one of the poorest among basic sectors since 2003 with .04% share in the national economy. To break this trend, a comprehensive anti-poverty program for the municipal fishers and fish farmers should be implemented. In CAR, an initial pre rollout training was conducted among the eight priority municipalities of the region namely Luna and Pudtol in Apayao; Itogon and Bokod in Benguet; Aquinaldo and Alfonso Lista in Ifugao; and Pinukpuk in Kalinga; and Paracelis in Mt. Province. These municipalities were identified based on the number of registered fisherfolk in the system comprising atleast75 fisherfolk and are involved in capture fishing activities.

BFAR_CAR Director Lilibeth L. Signey, said the registration is necessary in designing relevant programs to assist LGUs in the development, management, regulation, conservation, and protection of fishery resources and in establishing a Comprehensive Fishery Information System.

The program, according to Assistant Regional Director Lois June B. Fermin, is aimed at guiding partner LGUs and other line agencies in the selection, conceptualization, and prioritization of government programs intended for the target beneficiaries in the sector.

"As registration of fisherfolk continues, priority areas will also increase," ARD Fermin encouraged .