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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsBFAR Launches LAYAG-WPS,Sparks Livelihood Activities for Fisherfolk in WPS

BFAR Launches LAYAG-WPS,Sparks Livelihood Activities for Fisherfolk in WPS

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Department of Agriculture formally launched LAYAG-WPS or Livelihood Activities to Enhance Fisheries Yields and Economic Gains from the West Philippine Sea in Subic, Zambales on April 16, 2024.

Dubbed “LAYAG-WPS,” the new project aims to improve the lives of Filipino fishing communities facing the West Philippine Sea by unlocking the potential of the resource-rich fishing ground and stirring fisheries livelihood opportunities in the regions of  Ilocos, Central Luzon, and MIMAROPA.

“Sa ating lokal na mangingisda, ipinaaabot ko ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat sa inyong pagsusumikap na i-angat hindi lamang ang inyong kabuhayan kundi pati na rin ang antas ng seguridad sa pagkain ng ating bansa. Bukod dito, kayo po ang nagsisilbing haligi sa pagtatag ng ating blue economy o ang likas-kayang paggamit ng mga yamang katubigan para sa pagpapalago ng ating ekonomiya at maging sa pangangalaga ng saribuhay at ekosistema ng ating mga karagatan,” Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr said in his message. (To our local fishermen, I extend my sincere gratitude for your efforts to secure not only your livelihood but also the food security of our country. You are the pillar of the blue economy or the sustainable use of the ocean resources for the growth of our economy and the conservation of biodiversity  and ecosystems of our seas.)

He assured the Department of Agriculture’s full support to programs such as LAYAG-WPS, adding that President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr has instructed national agencies to align government programs to avoid overlaps and repetitions, ensuring that government programs complement and hit targets.

During the project launch, government officials, led by Senator Cynthia Villar, National Security Council Deputy Director General Nestor Herico, Agriculture Undersecretary Drusila Esther E. Bayate, Presidential Assistant for Maritime Concerns National Coast Watch Council Secretariat Secretary Andres Centino, and DA-BFAR National Director Atty. Demosthenes R. Escoto and other key officials from the local and provincial government of Zambales, awarded livelihood inputs such as gillnets to about 100 fisherfolk, while fifty (50) women fisherfolk underwent post-harvest training and received post-harvest implements.

Additionally, DA-BFAR has turned over 62-footer Fiber Reinforced Plastic (RFP) vessels complete with modernized fishing equipment to select fisherfolk associations from Central Luzon and the Ilocos Region.

“The DA-BFAR commits to the task of empowering Filipino fisherfolk and ensuring that this program is justly and equitably implemented,” BFAR Director Escoto said.

He called on the agency’s multi-sector partners to maintain their coordination and collaboration for the effective development of the West Philippine Sea.

As a highlight of the event, DA-BFAR personnel, along with fisherfolk beneficiaries, will sail onboard the newly-awarded 62-footer FRP boats in nearby waters for a fishing activity.

Meanwhile, fisherfolk beneficiaries expressed their appreciation of the LAYAG-WPS program. Mr. Fausto Alpay, one of the fisherfolk leaders and beneficiaries, shared his enthusiasm for the livelihood inputs they received.

“Kami ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa ating pamahalaan sa pangunguna ng DA-BFAR at lokal na pamahalaan ng Zambales sa kanilang suporta para sa gaya naming mangingisda. Malaking tulong ito para sa aming kabuhayan.” (We are grateful to the government – the DA-BFAR and the local government units of Zambales – for their unwavering support. It is a big help to our livelihood).

Also present during the launch were AFP Western Command Commander VADM Alberto Carlos, and PCG Commandant CG Adm Ronnie Gil Gavan, Zambales Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Zambales Congressman Jefferson F. Khonghun (1st District), Zambales Congresswoman Doris E. Maniquiz (2nd District), and Subic Mayor Jonathan John F. Khonghun. 

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