MAFAR CREATES BARMM-FISH AT NFEP STRATEGIC PLANNING
With its participation to the formulation of the first National Fisheries Extension Program (NFEP) Strategic Planning for Mindanao, MAFAR-BARMM has created the BARMM-FISH that stands for Best and Accountability for a Resilient and Modernized Management of Fisheries resource promoting Inclusive and Sustainable development for a Harmonious Bangsamoro society as its core values in Fisheries Extension System.
Aside from this, the vision and mission were also crafted as “An inclusive and equitable modernized fisheries extension services for the Bangsamoro people” and “Providing modernized fisheries extension system which is equitable and inclusive to contribute to food security in the Bangsamoro”, respectively.
The NFEP strategic planning was conducted by DA-BFAR on August 27-29, 2019 in Davao Cityand was participated by BFAR representatives from Regions 9, 10, 11, 12, Caraga, and MAFAR-BARMM, and stakeholders from SUCs, Fisherfolk Cooperatives and People’s Organizations (POs).
The 3-day Strategic Planning Workshopaimedto formulate the 5-Year (2020-2024)National Fisheries Extension Program (NFEP) as provided in R.A. 8550 otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, amended by R.A. 10654 (IRR signed on 22 September 2015) under Section 154. The Extension Services, that the Department hasthrough BFAR,shall develop cost-effective, practical and efficient extension services on a sustained basis. Also, as stated under Rule 154.1. National Fisheries Extension Program, DA-BFAR, in cooperation with concerned agencies, within one (1) year from the effectivity of this IRR, shall develop and implement a National Fisheries Extension Program to implement this Section.
Resource person Dr. Evelyn Aro-Esquejo, facilitated the workshop. The first daywas primarily with stakeholders from SUCs, Fisherfolk Cooperatives and POs with the objectives of providing an external assessment of BFAR’s partnership with them; to supply their overall feedback on what is strong/weak about BFAR’s extension delivery system. This will help prioritize BFAR’s program and help tasks prioritization. The succeeding days werespent for the Strategic Planning Proper participated by BFAR Mindanao cluster including MAFAR-BARMM and Stakeholders. It started out by answering the question “Why the need for developing the NFEP for 2020-2024?”.Dr Esquejo said, the workshop was conducted to ensure a successful planning bystarting with a clear and shared sense of purpose,avoiding errors they can build on,involving the right people in the planning process,designing according to available resources,documenting the plan and communicating widely,building in accountability (regularly review who’s doing what, when and the need for coordination) and planning to optimize the use of available resources.
Dr. Esquejo further emphasized that the strategic plan is purposely to define Fisheries Extension System (FES) long/ medium/ short term directions, mitigate and manage problem areas and ensure smother implementation, know whether results are those intended and assess discrepancies; and focus limited resources on priority activities. “We plan because we want to improve our performance, counter excessive inward and short-term thinking,and solve issues at macro level; if we fail to plan, we plan to fail”, Dr Esquijo emphasized.
Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) has been coined and used worldwide, which is not about distribution of fishing gears, sstablishment of fishery infrastructure, nor provision of fisheries support services such as credit, marketing assistance, etc.It is,strengthening capacities andempowering rural people,promoting innovations,supporting people to obtain skills and information;addressing emerging challenges to improve livelihoods and wellbeing;focusingon fisherfolk and other important stakeholders in rural economies,promoting interaction among them with other rural actors such as, private sector, research institutes, education centers, and the government.Moreover, it helps actors improve their market access, dealing with changing patterns of risk and protecting the environment.
The NFEP formulated by Mindanao cluster will then be consolidated with the completed Luzon and Visayas clusters upon consultation with other relevant stakeholders. Thereafter, NFEP 2020-2024 will be launched, disseminated, and adopted by BFAR Extension and Advisory Services (EAS).