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Guiding Principles


In general, these guiding principles are still very much relevant even after the passage of the Fisheries Code, especially since most of these principles were barely met by RA 8550.


Total people empowerment involves the transfer of economic and political power from the privileged few to the impoverished majority. For fishers and coastal communities, this is concretely manifested in community tenure, access and control over coastal and marine resources.

The small fisherfolk sector must play a major role in policy formulation from the local to the national level. They should be recognized as a unique and distinct sector from farmer / peasants and commercial fishers. They should be represented meaningfully in policy-making bodies. Also, they should be provided with resources and technical support to actively participate in such processes.

The full flowering of fisherfolk empowerment can be significantly reflected in the form of dynamic and independent fisherfolk cooperatives not only in the municipal fishery sector but also in the Aquaculture and commercial sub-sectors. This vision can be engendered through active encouragement of and preferential treatment given to fisherfolk cooperatives by government.

Social and Economic Equity and Justice

The concept recognizes that the economic upliftment of small fisherfolk communities is often a prerequisite to political empowerment. This concept can be realized by improving access to post harvest facilities, providing incentives to commercial fishers to conduct offshore operations, de-intensification of the aquaculture industry and the establishment of fisherfolk support funding mechanisms.

Gender Responsive

The principle recognizes the important role played by each gender in developing the fishing industry and the fishing community. As such, appropriate recognition and representation must be made.

Sustainable Development

Resource management must play around the concept of providing the needs of present and future generations. This would entail optimizing resource use as well as protecting, conserving and rehabilitating resources.

Food Security

The availability of affordable food at all times is a must to ensure food security in the local and the national level. Food self-sufficiency is imperative especially if food security is oftentimes threatened, and not supplemented, by globalization.