The Department of the Interior and Local Government – National Capital Region (DILG-NCR), through its Manila Bay Clean-up Rehabilitation and Preservation Program – Regional Program Management Team (MBCRP-PMT), conducted a briefing on Republic Act (RA) 8550, known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, followed by a multisectoral dialogue with select fisherfolks from the Coastal local government units (LGUs) of NCR namely Las Piñas City, City of Manila, Navotas City, Parañaque City, and Pasay City.

The fisherfolks were joined by representatives from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), Department of the Environment and Natural Resources – NCR (DENR – NCR), Philippine National Police (PNP)- Maritime Group, and the Philippine Coast Guard-Maritime Industry Authority (PCG-MARINA). The activity was held on September 8, 2023, at the Ace Water Spa Hotel, Pasig City.

Mr. Jason Boholano from BFAR-NCR presented an overview of RA 8550 as amended by RA 10654, followed by a forum on the Fisheries Code. The DILG Memorandum Circular 2023-012 or the “Guidelines in the Enactment and/or Updating of the Municipal/City Fisheries Ordinance of Coastal Local Government Units” was also discussed.

DENR-NCR’s representative, Justin de Ramos, provided updates on the National Guidelines for the Coastal Resource Management Plan (CRMP) and the integration of CRMP in the Comprehensive Development Plan and Comprehensive Land Use Plan of local jurisdictions.

For her part, PLT Lorna L. Sison of the PNP Maritime Group discussed the roles and responsibilities of Fishery Law Enforcement Officers and the requirements and processes imposed by law enforcement agencies.

Lastly, a dialogue between the fisherfolks and the government fisheries bodies tackled issues relevant to fisheries management, such as: the integration of the Coastal Resource Management Plan in the Comprehensive Development Plan and coastal laws implemented by enforcement agencies. The Philippine Coast Guard MARINA also shared relevant information concerning their operations with LGUs and the fisherfolks. The activity served as a platform to explore viable solutions to the many challenges facing fisherfolks in the coastal areas of NCR. #