FishCoRe in Action: BFAR and World Bank conduct Second Implementation Support Mission.

FishCoRe in Action: BFAR and World Bank conduct Second Implementation Support Mission.

The Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), along with partners from the World Bank and other government agencies, is set to conclude on April 26 the Second Implementation Support Mission for the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project.

The Mission, which started last April 15, aimed to assess and review the status of implementation of the identified sub-projects based on the needs of the beneficiaries in the target Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs) 6 and 9.

During the kick-off meeting, DA-BFAR National Director,  Atty. Demosthenes R. Escoto highlighted the value of efficient operations and commitment in implementing the project. “The FishCoRe Project is a massive initiative with lofty yet attainable goals if we manage to streamline our efforts and work in an efficient manner, from the national, FMA, and regional levels. There are visible and imminent challenges and I hope all of these will be addressed through this mission, he said. “Together as one working community, I hope that we continue to harness our skills and offer our best services to each and every Filipino fisherfolk,” he added.

The FishCoRe mission team visited three important locations from FMA 6 in the Ilocos Region and Central Luzon, and Central Visayas for FMA 9. Activities included field and site visits to potential aquaculture and fisheries infrastructures such as ice plants and cold storages, harmful algal bloom or HAB laboratories, post harvest facilities, warehouses, and fish ports, among others. 

The team also visited potential areas targeted for the establishment of production-related technologies and facilities such as fish cages, community-based hatcheries and nurseries, fish processing facilities, among others. These interventions are meant to enhance the value of production, and increase income in the coastal communities.

World Bank Team Task Leader, Ms. Jingjie Chiu, expressed her gratitude as she recognizes that much progress has been made by the National Project Management Office (NPMO), Regional Project Implementing Units (RPIU), and FMA Coordinating Units (FCU) from the last mission in October 2023. Additionally, she also reflected on the importance of having the support mission to fully identify the needs of the beneficiaries and how this can propagate chances of expanding the FishCoRe Project to different FMAs and reach more Filipino fisherfolks in the country. 

The mission is always a great opportunity for us to visit the country and understand what the real needs are and how our project can assist local communities to achieve a better life,” Ms. Chiu said. “We really have to work a lot and see the results to show the  management of both the Department of Agriculture and the World Bank that we can, because I think there is an intention to develop additional financing to cover more areas,” she added. 

As the Second Implementation Support Mission approaches the last leg of project assessment, the DA-BFAR and the World Bank have high hopes that the project will sail successfully to address the needs of the Filipino fisherfolks in the areas covered by the project. 

The FishCoRe Project serves as one of the lead initiatives of the government in the fishery sector to attain its goal of 100-percent food-fish sufficiency level by 2028. It adheres with the three year plan led by DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. of modernizing the agri-fisheries industry in order to increase agricultural productivity, lower food cost, ensure food security, and make farming and fisheries a more bankable investment alternative. 

To date, the FishCoRe Project, across its FCUs and RPIUs, has conducted orientations, capacity-building sessions, and workshops such as procurement, operational planning, monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) planning, among others.

Some regions have also started initial review and evaluation of project proposals submitted by the Local Government Units and stakeholders, as well as pre-validation of project areas and consolidation of lists of possible beneficiaries of livelihood interventions.

Recruitment and selection of support personnel, monitoring and assessment, and procurement of necessary logistical requirements of the projects are also underway.

The FishCore Project will continue to pursue its goal to achieve an improved management of targeted fisheries resources and an enhanced value of fisheries production in target FMAs.



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