The Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), BDO Foundation and the Fish Right Program of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a partnership for the financial education of fishers across the country.
“We believe that our collaboration will contribute to attaining the twin goals of the Department of Agriculture towards Masaganang Ani at Mataas Na Kita, and complementing other programs aimed at improving yields and doubling the income of small fisherfolk and their families in five years,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
According to BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, “Financial education interventions for underserved sectors of society are critical especially now that we are coping with the effects of a pandemic. We hope to be able to use the learning resources we have developed with BSP and other partners to further push financial inclusion, contribute to the government’s capacity building efforts, and make a difference in the lives of fishers and their families.”
BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said, “The agri-fisheries sector has untapped potential to be the engine of inclusive growth and development. We aim to equip fishers and their families with prudent financial management skills and right attitudes toward money to help them cope with irregular incomes and other economic shocks that they typically encounter in their livelihoods.”
The Fish Right Program will support the design of the financial education module and its roll-out with fishing communities, drawing from more than two decades of USAID experience in marine biodiversity conservation and fisheries management in the Philippines.
“Through USAID Fish Right program, we hope to build the capacity of more than 25,000 fishers with the intent to reach even more with the help of our partner NGOs and universities in Calamianes Island Group, South Negros and Visayan Sea,” said Patrick Wesner, Deputy Mission Director of USAID/Philippines.
The Fish Right Program is implemented by the University of Rhode Island and a consortium of organizations including PATH Foundation Philippines Inc. (PFPI) and Silliman University.