Sectors urge women fishery groups to practice resiliency

By Leandria Pagunsan


Dr. Hilconida Calumpong explains the objective of the Fish Right Program during the Kapihan sa PIA forum (PIA7-NegOr)


The Fishery Rights (FR) program Science Operations Coordinator and Ecosystem/Resilience Specialist challenged women groups from the Dauin fishery sector to engage in resilient livelihood activities.

Dr. Hilconida Calumpong, FR program coordinator, during a Kapihan sa PIA on Fishery Rights, held in Dauin, Negros Oriental, said “resiliency speaks for skills development that women should learn and develop.

For example, during the season of surplus fish catch, women can make homemade sardines and do vegetable gardening as interventions during calamities and bad weather caused by climate change,” said Calumpong.

She said the Fish right program is a consortium of government agencies and stakeholders playing important role in implementing the program like the local government units (LGUs), Municipal Agriculture Offices, Department of Education (DepEd), Philippine Coast Guard, other government line agencies, church/religious sector and the media as partners, while Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) takes the lead in implementing the program.

Josie Columna, focal person for Gender and Development in Negros Oriental, informed the Dauin women that the Provincial Social Welfare Office (PSWDO), Negros Oriental Organic Agricultural Management Council (NOOAMC) Provincial Employment Service Office (PESO), Provincial Integrated Skills Technology Center (PISTC) and Voice of the Free (VF) are extending various skills training and livelihood programs from their GAD funds.

As a member of the World Oceans Assessment Group, Dr. Calumpong shared their prediction that the world fish supply in 2050 would have been severely depleted that the major source of fish then would be from aquaculture.

By then, fewer people can afford to buy fish especially the poor hence, the program aims to develop Southern Negros seas and boost support for fishing communities, said Calumpong.

On this, representatives from the Gender and Development (GAD) through the Provincial Commission on Women (PCW), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) present during the forum encouraged women members in Dauin to avail of their livelihood programs, and skills training through their local counterparts to up their chances in the climate changed world.

In a related development, Dauin Municipal Mayor Neil Credo thanked the women members of the fishery sector in Dauin for their presence during the Kapihan forum and reminded them that passing of the ordinance on conservation and preservation of their marine resources is an endeavor between the LGU and the community hence, their continued  support and participation to sustain the program is solicited.


‘Fish Right’ deals on effects of overfishing, climate change

By Jennifer C. Tilos


University of Rhode Island President David Dooley speaking during a covenant signing of commitment to protect the fisheries in Southern Negros at Silliman University, Dumaguete City. (PIA Negros Oriental)


The weakening of the world’s fisheries is due to some primary effects of overfishing and climate change, and this could threaten some developing country’s food security.

This was cited by University of Rhode Island President David Dooley in his visit here during a covenant signing of commitment with the provincial government of Negros Oriental in the Fish Right program to support and improve sustainable fishing in Southern Negros.

“Everywhere the fish is under great stress as more and more people rely on fish as source of protein and food, and we are exploiting fish stock beyond its capacity to replenish,” explained Dooley.

He said it is important for the countries like the Philippines to take leadership position to manage the fishing resources with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The program intends to develop a multi-sector network for a sustainable partnership and cooperation to achieve the goal on the protection and conservation of marine resources in the targeted areas of Southern Negros, Calamianes Islands in Palawan, and Visayan Seas.

Dooley said catching too many small fishes before they mature and do not have the chance to reproduce may decrease the fish population.

He urged the fishery sector to develop sustainable practices and be mindful of all commercial activities for the protection of fish stocks in the sea.

Fish population is expected to be displaced, too, due to the effects of climate change as the ocean gets warmer in temperatures, said Dooley.

NegOr Guv affirms commitment to promote sustainable fisheries

By Roi Lomotan


Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, University of Rhode Island President Dr. David Dooley, and Silliman University President Dr. Betty McCann (seated, l-r) take a group photo with the implementers of Fish Right Program and their partners in the province after Gov. Degamo signed the commitment on sustainable fisheries in a ceremony held on March 5, 2019, at Silliman University.(PIA7-NegOr)


Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo upheld the provincial government’s mandate to conserve and protect the province’s fishery resources by signing the commitment on sustainable fisheries in a simple ceremony held at Silliman University (SU) recently.

The signing of the document was the highlight of the fellowship activity hosted by the implementers of Fish Right (FR) Program in SU for its partners in Negros Oriental and counterparts in University of Rhode Island in the U.S.A.

SU President Dr. Betty McCann, University of Rhode Island (URI) President David Dooley, URI Coastal Resources Center Director JP Walsh, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Regional Governor for Central Visayas Ed Du, Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Francisco Martinez, and representatives of agencies involved in the implementation of FR program witnessed Gov. Degamo sign the said document.

Gov. Degamo signed the document in behalf of the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental after the Sangguniang Panglalawigan passed a resolution authorizing him to represent the provincial government in this endeavor.

In his short message, Gov. Degamo thanked the U.S. Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for choosing Negros Oriental as one of the three sites for the implementation of FR program.

Gov. Degamo underscored that project will benefit those people residing in coastal communities especially those who rely on fishing as their source of income and livelihood.

Moreover, he said, the FR project will be an opportunity for agencies to synergize their efforts towards a sustainable fish harvest.

“I will do what is necessary within my power and within my capability as provincial governor to make sure this project will be a success,” Gov. Degamo said.

The provincial government of Negros Oriental has projects regarding the conservation and protection of our seas through the Environment and Natural Resources Division under my office,” he added.

FR Principal Investigator Dr. Ben Malayang III disclosed the document was supposed to be signed by the governors of the two Negros provinces as affirmation of their commitment to promote sustainable fishery practices in Negros Island.

Negros Occidental Governor Alfred Marañon was not present during the activity.

Dr. Malayang still thinks this is a positive step to ensure there is enough fish supply for the people of Negros.

“It’s a good way of telling everybody that this whole program, initiatives in Negros Island will be led and involves the two governors,” Dr. Malayang remarked.

The FR program is an initiative between the Philippine and U.S. Governments to increase fish production and improve management of fisheries and coastal resources.

It is implemented in three sites namely, the Visayan Sea, Calamianes Group of Islands, and Negros Island.

Part of its objectives is to improve the income of fisherfolks and the well-being of people in terms of food and protein security and enhance the people’s ability to respond and manage climate change -related risks and threats to our fishery ecosystems.

“We use multi-sector partnerships and coalition building as our pedagogy for exhibiting our own objective of sustainable fisheries by way of, among others, righting the scale of our fishing efforts to within the carrying capacity of our fishery, hence, the term fish right,” Dr. Malayang explained.

“We believe, especially in Silliman and in greater Negros community that there is ethical and moral dimension of meeting to respect the rights of our fishes to continue and sustain their population and their species. It is a moral obligation,” he added.

On the other hand, URI President David Dooley looks forward to a strong partnership between SU, Provincial Government of Negros Oriental, and the agencies involved in the FR project in Negros Oriental.

He cited in his speech the need to protect and properly manage the country’s resources for the benefit of the future generations.

URI is SU’s counterpart in implementing the FR Program.