As a follow-on activity to the 2022 Fisheries Compliance Audit (FishCA) held from April to May 2022, the Manila Bay Clean-up, Rehabilitation, and Preservation Program (MBCRPP) facilitated a capacity-building exercise entitled “Fish Processing Skills Training for Fisherfolks of Coastal LGUs of NCR.” The fisherfolks who attended the training were briefed on the latest fish processing technologies and oriented on DA-BFAR’s Fisherfolk (FishR) Registration and Fishing Boat and Gear Registration (BOATR) Systems.

One of the notable findings of the FishCA is the need for all coastal LGUs to organize their local fisherfolks so that these LGUs may more effectively deliver technical support to the larger fisherfolk community. In addition, by formally organizing their fisherfolks, LGUs can better monitor and regulate fishery activities within their geographic boundaries while instituting priority measures to boost fish biomass, and restore the fish habitat and ecosystem.

For the first part of the training, Engineer Rogelio B. Prospero of the Department of Science and Technology-National Capital Region (DOST-NCR) shared with the attendees his expertise on the subject of Food Safety and Fish Processing Technologies, emphasizing:

“… malinis, matapat, ligtas, at tamang pamamaraan sa paggawa at paghahanda ng pagkain ang siyang pamantayan ng food safety. Malaki ang gampanin ng mga naghahanda ng pagkain sa pagsiguro ng mataas na antas ng kaligtasan ng mga kumukonsumo ng mga produkto.”

Aside from the fundamentals of fish processing, the participants were also oriented on the registration process in DA-BFAR’s FishR and BoatR Systems using Web and Mobile Applications.

Acting as resource persons on the above subject, Mr. Edgar Cadag, Ms. Jelyn Ramos and Ms. Rhomelyn Acquiatan from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) addressed the issues raised by those who want to register themselves in the system. They clarified that the Republic Act (RA) 8550, as amended by RA 10650 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, shall serve as the basis for identifying those who qualify as “fisherfolk”, without discounting the date generated by virtue of local ordinances, which may also serve as a point of reference for registration purposes.

As a concrete manifestation of government support to the sector, the MBCRP Program Management Team (PMT) distributed supplies and equipment to the fisherfolks of the Cities of Las Piñas, Manila, Navotas, Parañaque and Pasay.

The MBCRP-PMT also committed to further develop partnerships with other relevant National Government Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations to improve the quality of technical support provided to the fisherfolks of coastal LGUs in the NCR.