(02) 8421-0730 / (0915) 446-1243 ngos4fisheriesreform@nfr.ph

As part of the its vision to empower fisherfolk and establish climate-resilient coastal communities with a policy environment that guarantees the utilization, management and development of resources in a manner that is sustainable, equitable and fair for all, the NGOs for Fisheries Reform, Inc (NFR) initiated the re-organization of the City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (CFARMC) in Tacloban last July 2015 including the formulation of a six-month activity plan from July 2015 to December 2015. These include community-based coastal resourceactivities such as orientation and training on mangrove planting, coastal clean-up activities, planning workshop on reviewing the city fishery ordinances, socio-economic profiling of registered fisher folks in the city’s coastal barangays, participation on the advocacy actions for humane resettlement conditions of fisher folks living along coastal communities and drafting ofsomeresolutions including on theincrease of the visibility of city fishery law enforcement team (FLET) and resolution for alternative livelihoods as source of daily income of fisher folks.

Throughout the six-month activity plan, the CFARMC officers through the ingenuity of Mr. Losanto Castillo, Jr., attended several meetings and lobbied for the realization of the planned undertakings of the organization. Partnerships with relevant local government units, forums, community consultations and attending legislative sessions paved the way on the achievement of some of the CFARMC activities. Meanwhile, last February 15, 2016, as integral part of every organization, the Tacloban City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council had its quarterly assessment to present and evaluate the status, what-went-wrong and what-went-right of the six-month activity plans and programs. Some of the accomplishments were the orientation and training on mangrove planting conducted in ­­­Brgy. Burayan and Cataisan Point, initial review of the city fishery ordinances, involvement on the advocacy actions for humane resettlement conditions of fisher folks and petition for Kankabato Bay general debris clean-up and retrieval operation. Nevertheless, part of the success were short-comings and challenges encountered by the organization such as the lack of own monetary funds and resources to conduct specific activities, incapacitated council members because of the lack of capacity building on organizational and financial management and values formation and most importantly thepersonal commitment, sincerity and cooperation among council members.

As mentioned by the CFARMC coordinator, Mr. Jose Villacorte, “With regards to the general assessment of this organization, I can say that at least we were able to make accomplishments and small attempts on the review of city fishery ordinance and boat registration with the help of NFR. Honestly, money, funding support and time element are the hindering factors why most of the time we are stuck on achieving our plans. We cannot deny the fact that CFARMC is just dependent on the funding agency. That is a reality! Now, at least if we could ask a stable support from the city government in terms of budget, training and capacity building of our council members, at least we could start to work, especially in Kankabato. On the effectiveness of the council members, I have also to admit that we are still on the period and process of adjustments because we are still new after the re-organization of this CFARMC even I, myself have also my short-comings as the coordinator”.

Aside from evaluation and assessment, the organization also aimed on that day to create a whole-year plan of activities and programs for 2016. However due to time constraints and deficient CFARMC members, the group just decided to carry over all the pending activities last 2015 such as the capacity building for CFARMC members, training on law enforcement, mangrove planting, general clearing & retrieval of debris in Kankabato Bay and enforcement of solid waste management. Meantime, a thorough planning for a whole-year activity plan is yet to be scheduled some time in March.

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Article written by Mr. Christian Salamida