In his welcome remarks, Mabalacat City mayor Marino Morales commended the fisherfolks from the region for their contribution to the socio-economic development.
"We owe a lot from our fisherfolks for their contribution in the overall development of the agriculture sector and for enhancing our program as far as food security is concerned," Morales cited.
Meanwhile, Sammy Malvas, chief of Fisheries Policy and Economics Division of BFAR-Central Office gave an overview of the program, as well as the role of various partner agencies in its implementation.
"For a long period of time, the fisheries sector was not given enough attention despite its significant contribution in the economy. That is why we at BFAR, are really exerting our best efforts in order to identify and recognize those people who are behind this contribution," Malvas stressed.
"Through this program, we aim to identify and recognize our fisherfolks in order to strengthen fisherfolk organization and to ensure their immediate access to assistance packages," he said.
According to him, the standardized registration is only the first step towards achieving the goal of this program to ensure the efficient delivery of government programs and benefits to them.
For her part, BFAR 3 regional director Remedios Ongtangco said that the agency is geared toward the full implementation of the program in all barangays throughout the region. With this, she sought the cooperation of all LGUs in its implementation.
"We are really serious in its implementation. In fact, we have created seven teams which will go to remote barangays in the whole region to assist in the registration. They will provide logistic support like laptops, internet connections and portable generators to these areas, " Ongtangco assured.
Stakeholders expressed gratitude to the government for initiating the program. They said that they are happy to know that the government is exerting effort to reach out and provide needed assistance to fisherfolks like them.
"As I understand it, all fishermen, including fish vendors, vessel operators and capitalists, are required to register. This will be an effective mechanism for the government to assess their needs and assist them to improve their means of livelihood," Soledad Monsalud, municipal agriculturist of Morong, Bataan said.