Agency News 615 3

For the future of PH agri-fishery sector. PFDA and DA led a dialogue with the commercial fishing industry stakeholders to discuss the industry’s status and future advancements via teleconference on June 15, 2021.

Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, led by General Manager Atty. Glen A. Pangapalan, together with the Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary for Agri-Industrialization and for Fisheries Cheryl Marie Natividad-Caballero, led a dialogue with the commercial fishing industry stakeholders to discuss the industry’s status and future advancements via teleconference on June 15, 2021.

One of the main objectives of this online dialogue aims to determine and address various constraints and issues surrounding the commercial fishing industry. Moreover, the forum seeks to resolve such problems through an objective discussion and devise sustainable solutions.

According to Atty. Pangapalan, this event is a good way for them to have an open communication line, especially with the members of the commercial fishing sector. He said that they will appreciate all the concerns the industry partners want to raise to the government, particularly to DA, PFDA, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI).

“We intend this to be a quarterly activity para mapag-usapan natin ang mga bagay bagay na umiikot sa ating operations. Sana po ay maging bukas ang lahat at sama-sama nating pag-usapan kung ano ang mga pwede nating gawin sa mga pressing issues na kinakaharap ng ating sektor ng pangisdaan. Kami ay desidido na talagang makagawa ng konkretong aksyon sa ating mga problema na kinakaharap ngayon,” Atty. Pangapalan affirmed.

Representatives from the commercial fishing sector across the country presented concerns that they have been experiencing in their operations. These problems include delineation of municipal waters, limited fishing capacity, closed fishing season, regulation of Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), fish importation, non-renewal of expired boat licenses, and illegal unregulated and unreported fishing, among others.

Before addressing these concerns, USec Caballero said that this dialogue is a mechanism to discuss such challenges and move forward as they study the potentials of the “blue economy”. She assured commercial fishing industry partners that they are open for discussions within the metes and bounds of the law.

“For us to effectively grow this sector, may mga bagay na kailangan nating paghandaan at ang gobyerno po ay nandyan to practically come up with regulations that will not make things better for the long-term. We are one with you to grow this sector. We will digest, analyze, assess, and come up with a follow-up discussion in this regard. Let us help understand each other and plan out for the bigger haul. Let us help each other because these challenges are ways for us to reboot and recalibrate,” USec Caballero explained.

In addition, the undersecretary talked about several areas they would like to develop and improve for the betterment of the commercial fishing industry in the future. These advancements include the big brother-small brother partnership, vessel monitoring system, record-keeping system, investments, need for training and skills enhancement, and more.

Prior to the discussion with the members of the commercial industry, PFDA Operations Services Department Officer-in-Charge, Mr. Eric M. Sims discussed the updates on fish unloading at the Regional Fish Ports (RFP) from 2017 to 2020. Subsequently, PFDA Technical Services Department Manager Engr. Danilo A. Axalan presented the current situation of the rehabilitation and improvement projects across all RFPs.

Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco and film actor Robin Padilla graced the virtual open forum. Moreover, members of PFDA Central Office and RFPs also attended the online dialogue.

In addition, officers and personnel from various groups and associations in the fishery sector such as Inter-Island Deep Sea Fishing Association, Inc., Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association, Inc, Panay Deep Sea Fishing Boat Operators Association, Inc, Association of Small and Medium Scale Fishing Operators, SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc., Sargen Fishport Tuna Handline Fishing Association, Royale Pacific Rim Fishing Corporation, Silver Sea Star Fishing Corporation, Samahan ng Buong Mangingisda sa Navotas Inc., One Visayas Fish Network Inc., Luminar Fishing Corporation, Nancy Fishing Corporation, Trans Pacific Journey Fishing Corporation, Frabelle Fishing Corporation, Far North Fishing, Alliance of Philippine Fishing Federations Inc., Umbrella Fish Landing Association, RBL Fishing Corporation, DADDS Fishing, Irma Fishing & Trading, Inc., Rugela Fishing Industries, Inc., and Elzon Fishing & Trading also took part in today’s discussion.

(Mark Angelo N. Perez – Public Information Division)