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BFAR, fisherfolk reorganize FARMC in Tadian

Author: BFAR-CAR

Fostering a strong and empowered fisherfolk in the resilient communities of Tadian, Mt. Province, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-CAR) conducted Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC) reorganizing and strengthening through its FARMC Coordinator, Naela D. Shahid.

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The activity provided a venue to impose a responsible management of fishery and aquatic resources in the highlands by making policy and regulation in protecting and conserving the resources.

With this, Shahid discussed FAO 196 which defines the creation and existence of FARMCs in the municipality. She also discussed BFAR's interventions in the preparation of fishery policies for the protection of aquatic resources in the area.

Though not coastal, fisherfolk in Tadian, Mt. Province are very keen in utilizing their available and existing resources such that they produce rice and fish alternately in the same land.

An open forum was also conducted to give the participants an opportunity to ask and raise their concerns. One of the issues raised was about the organic aquaculture with the integration of yuyu or the oriental weather loach, which is endemic in the rice paddies.The fisherfolk likewise intimated their interest expanding their farming practices and strategies in growing rice while at the same time growing fish for consumption.

Another issue raised was formulation of organic feeds as they are interested on jumpstarting organic farming system as well as marketing of their produce.

During the action planning, each group presented their plans on fishery involvement. Most of their concerns were fingerling dispersal requests, training activities in organic aquaculture, site validation of the proposed site for aquaculture, fishing gears, and paraphernalia.

In Tadian, its infamous Gawaan Lake situated in Bana-ao, now serves as a fishing ground where fish raisers already installed cages where they grow tilapia. This was initiatied by BFAR-CAR in its efforts to strengthen FARMC activities.

A total of 31 fisherfolk convened to bring up their action plans.

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Reaching out fisherfolk needs; BFAR opens Ifugao Provincial Office

Author: BFAR-CAR

Another provincial office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-CAR) was opened on (PLEASE INSERT DATE HERE) at Banting, Poblacion West in Lamut, Ifugao. This expansion is part of the Bureau's significant aquaculture interventions in creating more fishery-related endeavours to flourish in the highland mountains of Cordillera.

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The expansion is also in lieu of of the Fisheries code of 1998 stating that "the bureau shall establish regional, provincial and municipal offices as may be appropriate and necessary to carry out effectively and efficiently its provisions."

Prior to this establishment, Lamut Fish Farm was just a sub-station for the culture of pangasius. Now the provincial office is consist of production facilities such as water system, twin conditioning tanks, and earthen ponds which will be used for production and breeding of different fish species. The pond will be utilized for growing pangasius breeders and for tilapia fingerlings production through hapa method. The conditioning tanks will be used for conditioning fingerlings and breeders.

As a tilapia fish-producing community, Ifugao remains as the top producing province in the region. "For the previous years, Ifugao province remained to be the highest producer of marketable fish in Cordillera having 45.7 % which is equivalent to 1,824.7 MT share of the overall regional production. This growth in terms of volume is due to the active fishing activities in the Magat reservoir," BFAR-CAR Regional Director Lilibeth Signey said.

(NOTE: WHEN QUOTING FROM SOURCES, AVOID USING PARENTHESES AS DIRECT QUOTATIONS SERVE AS IF THE PERSON IS TALKING NOT WRITING)

Provincial Fishery Officer (PFO) Samuel C. Bolla said that with the new office, the fisherfolk of Ifugao now have easier access to various technical services assistance. This is also a way of bringing the bureau closer to the different stakeholders of the fishery sector This way, Mr. Bolla said, more fisherfolk in the area can now seek for immediate assistance concerning aquaculture development in the province.

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T.A.R.G.E.T. program benefits 33, 206 fisherfolk nationwide

Author: BFAR-CAR

After the series of implementation of the National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) in the country, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has now launched another national program for the fisherfolk sector dubbed as T.A.R.G.E.T. (Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and Generate Economic Transformation in the Fishery Sector) and BoatR (municipal fishing vessels and gears registration).

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The TARGET program is a concrete step of the government in realizing the inclusive growth and poverty alleviation agenda of the Aquino administration, particularly in the fishery sector. Equipped with the necessary metric and registries, it will deliver targeted actions or interventions in an effort to improve the livelihood of the identified fisherfolk population and eventually lessen the incidence of poverty.

This effort will be carried out through enhanced fishery law enforcement and strengthened regulatory activities to address illegal, unreported, unregulated fishing (IUUF) under Executive Order No. 154. EO No. 154 was signed by President Aquino which adapted the Philippine National Plan of Action in creating the Philippine committee on IUUF to lessen incidence of IUUF in the country, adding more sanctions and penalties for violations. Said added sanctions are intended for commercial and deep sea fishing companies.

"We really need to address important issues related to the fishery sector that also have an impact socially, politically, and environmentally in our country," said Senator Cynthia Villar.

"We need to maintain a good balance between the requirements for increased production to contribute to food security against the need to conserve and protect our resources for long term sustainability," she added.

Senator Villar sponsored the Senate Bill 2414, an act strengthening the regulatory and enforcement function of BFAR amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 8550, otherwise known as the "Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998".

Senator Villar also noted the efforts of BFAR and DA in addressing the booming poverty incidence of the country by targeting the poorest of the poor in the fisherfolk sector.

"I chose the chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food because this is my advocacy on poverty reduction where these local farmers and fisherfolk belong. We are agricultural country and two-thirds of the population is directly or indirectly involve in agricultural sector. From 33 million workers, 11 million of which are agricultural workers," Sen. Villar added.

Inclusive growth, according to Villar, encompasses not only the gross national product (GNP) which is almost 7% but also the need to let the less fortunate feel this economic growth and development through this kind of program.

Generally, the TARGET program focuses on the following components: Livelihood, Resource Enhancement, Resource Management and Protection, and Postharvest and Marketing Support.

This program covers the 20% or 33, 206 of the 166, 000 fisherfolk whose names appear on the DA-BFAR's FishR and that of the DSWD's National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

With 1.8 million estimated total number of fisherfolk in the country, the impact of targeted actions or interventions to 33, 206 fisherfolk would mean 4% reduction from poverty incidence rate of 39.2% in the fisherfolk sector.

The national program launching of TARGET was held in Tanza, Cavite.

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Kebajan farmers train on rice-fish culture

Author: BFAR-CAR

In a joint collaboration between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Cordillera, a rice-fish technology demonstration project was implemented in Kabayan, Benguet as part of the Bottoms-up-Budgeting (BUB) project of the government.

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Rice-fish culture is becoming known in some part of the region where rice production is common. To date, the bureau established a Loach hatchery located at the La Trinidad Regional Fish Farm in La Trinidad, Benguet to supply fingerling requirements of fish farming enthusiasts.

Rice-fish culture is a practice of integrating fish in the rice paddies. This is done by allotting 10% of the total surface area of the rice field as fish ponds. Other practice is that of growing yu-yu or Japanese loach simultaneously with rice in the area. These species live in shallow rivers, paddies, and even ditches. They can survive when oxygen levels drop on its lowest because they have the ability to use their intestine to derive oxygen from the air.

According to Michelle A. Peralta, technical staff of BFAR-CAR, who served as the resource speaker of the activity, the Regional Field Office of DA coordinated with the bureau to equip the members of Kebajan Farmers Association, Inc. with training services and technical knowledge and skills on aquaculture management practices suitable in their area.

The counterpart of BFAR was the provision of fingerlings in the first cropping as input assistance to the association with two identified recipients.

This project, according to Gladys Aligo of DA-CAR, was under the BUB project in the Municipality which aims to make the planning and budgeting processes of both local and national governments more participatory, and strengthen the convergence of the delivery of national services in the community at providing a balance in the identification of priorities among the less fortunate cities and municipalities in the provinces that belongs to the poorest of the poor.

Peralta discussed in her lecture basic aquaculture management on the Biology of Tilapia, Pond Culture, Rice-Fish Culture, Loach Culture, and Cost and Return Analysis.

Furthermore, Lorence Ognasi, Benguet Provincial Fisheries Coordinator, shared success stories and significant experimental researches conducted on backyard fish production in the province. This is to emphasize the potential of Cordillera not only in rice farming but also in fish raising and its benefits.

This activity was participated in by the Local Government Units, Provincial Veterinary Office, DA, BFAR, and the fisherfolk of Kabayan, Benguet.

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Teotimo L. Guzon, Sr. is an Outstanding Fisherfolk

Author: BFAR-CAR

From a humble farm tenant in 1972, Teotimo L. Guzon, Sr., Mang Teoty, as he is fondly called, rose to become a very successful fish farmer allowing him to add a feather on his cap by being awarded as the 2014 Outstanding Fisherfolk in the country.

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Mang Teoty earlier won the Regional Gawad Saka and awarded a cash prize of Php 30,000.00 from BFAR-CAR which he received during the DA-RFO-CAR anniversary.

Due to his perseverance, hard work, generosity, and willingness to improve his source of livelihood, Mang Teoty was able to increase his farm lands (fishponds) from income he earned from his fishery project. This allowed him to raise his 10 children and send them to school.

Aside from uplifting his standard of living, he extended his blessings to other fish farmers who need assistance and knowledge in fish production including the giving out of fingerlings to be used in their ponds.

In a bid to expand his project, Mang Teoty put up a fish hatchery, grow-out ponds and red carp as cultured species. He honed his skills by attending trainings, workshops, and seminars sponsored by the DA, BFAR, and private entities which resulted in the improvement of his fishpond projects.

Aside from tilapia production, Mang Teoty ventured in swine production, duck raising, coconut and rice production, citrus and vegetable farming as alternative sources of income.

He is from Barangay Imelda, Pudtol, Apayao, and married to Myrna Tagata Ramos. He was a recipient of BFAR financial assistance for the construction of his hatchery project, and improvement of his breeding ponds.

Mr. Guzon bested other outstanding fisherfolk nominees from other regions impressing national evaluators with his fishery project.

It can be recalled that this is not the first time Cordillera has produced National Fisherfolk awardees. In the past years, Mrs. Ryan of Tabuk, Kalinga, Ricarte Domingo (also of Pudtol, Apayao), and Danilo Tronco of Lagangilang, Abra garnered the coveted award.

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