BFAR 8 through the PFO of Biliran distributed Php5.4M worth of fisheries livelihood interventions during the launching of the first Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair

Empowering both inland and coastal fisheries communities in Biliran province, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 8 through the Provincial Fisheries Office (PFO) of Biliran distributed Php5.4M worth of fisheries livelihood interventions during the launching of the first Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair in the Philippines at the Biliran Province State University (BiPSU) on August 26, 2023.

Various fishing communities were given valuable support: the San Roque Association and Baso Fisherfolk Association received marine fish cages worth Php3.7 million for bangus production. In addition, Farmers and Fisherfolks for Greener Environment (FOGE), Tucdao-Anas Farmers Irrigators Association Inc., and Caibiran Biliran Farmers Irrigators Association Inc. were provided with Php400,000 worth of tilapia fingerlings and bags of feeds for one cropping cycle. The Villa Enage Farmers and Fisherfolk of Women Association benefited from Php300,000 worth of seaweed farming implements. The Bato-Danao Farmers and Fisherfolk Association was empowered with Php525,000 worth of drift gill nets, a 22-footer FRP Boat with a 7.5HP marine engine, and full accessories. Lastly, 100 registered municipal fishers in Naval and Culaba, Biliran were granted sets of hook and line worth Php455,000.

Certificates of Award of these fisheries interventions were handed by House Speaker Hon. Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, Tingog Partylist Representative Congressman Jude A. Acidre, Biliran District Representative Gerardo Jimenez J. Espina Jr., Governor Gerard Roger M. Espina, BFAR 8 Regional Director Dr. Hannibal M. Chavez and PFO Biliran Luzviminda Robin to the representatives of the aforementioned fisherfolk beneficiaries. This has also been witnessed by thousands of program beneficiaries and various national and local leaders present during the official opening ceremony of the Serbisyo Fair.

“Isang malaking tulong sa sektor ng fish culture. Maraming salamat sa mahal naming Pangulo sa pagbibigay sa amin ng Serbisyong ito, ” shared by Mr. Bebito T. Matuguinas, one of the tilapia culture in pond beneficiaries.

Furthermore, PFO Biliran enthusiastically joined the Kadiwa ng Pangulo event, showcasing fresh and value-added fishery commodities from different coastal areas in the region. The fair also highlighted affordable and delicious products, giving farmers, fisherfolks, and small entrepreneurs from the province another opportunity to market their goods.

A total of Php80 million worth of government interventions will be given during the said fair, dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of 26,000 Biliran residents. With the participation of 33 National Government Agencies (NGAs) and the staging of 50 programs at the BiPSU compound from August 26-27, 2023, this collective endeavor is poised to offer substantial support and beneficial opportunities to the local community.

Other than fisheries interventions, various government assistance were given to thousands of Biliranons during this Serbisyo Fair. Some of the National Government Agencies present were the Department of Agriculture (DA), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), and others. Further, the Tingog Partylist, Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU), and Local Government Units (LGUs) of the province spearheaded the coordination and overall facilitation of this initiative in partnership with the Bagong Pilipinas National Secretariat to provide a one-stop shop platform of available government interventions to Biliranons. The next leg of the said Serbisyo Fair in the region is set to be conducted in November 2023 to reach and provide immediate social services, livelihood interventions, regulatory functions, and other government services to Leyteños in line with government’s drive to build a compact road towards a transformative and responsive “Bagong Pilipinas”.