ARMM exceeds target for fisherfolk registration
Cotabato City (01 October 2014) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has exceeded its target of registering one hundred thousand fisherfolk in the region under the Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) program of the national government.
Janice Musali, ARMM’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) director, said ARMM now has the most number of registered fisherfolk in the country with about two hundred thousand since the launching of the FishR program last year.
She said in May this year, ARMM ranked 5th among regions in terms of the number of registered fisherfolk with 54,000.
Musali said the data on fisherfolk can help the region come up with better policies and improve its programs on fisheries.
Republic Act 8850 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 mandates the registration of municipal fisherfolk for the purpose of managing the municipal waters and monitoring fishing activities and other related matters.
Registered fisherfolk will receive an insurance coverage for fishing boats and aquaculture stocks in the event of calamities through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) and health coverage by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).
When the program was first introduced in 1998, only 50,000 fisherfolk were registered due to its poor implementation. Following an in-depth review and a nationwide preparation, the FishR program was re-launched in the second quarter of 2013.
Musali said BFAR now has registered over a million fisherfolk nationwide.
She said FishR will help the working government of ARMM approximate the number of residents and families in the region that rely on fisheries as source of livelihood.
The registry is being cross-checked by the National Household Targeting System-Poverty Reduction program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture of the Department of Budget and Management. (Bureau of Public Information)