Women are not given enough recognition as a major stakeholder in fisheries development due to lack of supportive policies and policy environment.
This was according to Ms. Mildred Mercene-Buazon, Vice Chairperson of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Gender Advocacy Development (GAD) Focal Point System.
To address this concern, BFAR has been actively spearheading GAD programs in the fisheries sector according to Buazon.
Buazon shared BFAR’s concern pertaining to the said GAD issue in an appreciation seminar series organized by the GAD committee of the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).
Part of the National Women’s Month celebration this March, the seminar series aims to inspire DOST-PCAARRD employees to become more active in GAD programs and initiatives,
Some of the major accomplishments of BFAR GAD include the development of the fisheries checklists for livelihood, training, coastal resource management, and research; the revision of the fisherfolk registration form to capture the socio-economic position of women and men as well as their roles and interest in the value chain of the fisheries sector; and the pre-assessment on the implementation of the women-managed areas (WMAs) cum women-friendly fishing gears for regions 5 and 11.
Currently, BFAR’s major programs include the AHON initiative, which provides fishing boats for men and chest freezers for women fisherfolk; establishment of WMAs per region; assistance to all-women groups to formally incorporate as organizations to be able to avail of entrepreneurship activities and credit facilities; and the issuance of PhilHealth number and personal or crop insurance for fisherfolk in case of calamity.
BFAR has been incorporating relevant gender issues in its plans, programs, services, and activities (PPSAs) towards effective implementation. It also implements enabling mechanisms or structures including a sex-disaggregated database composed of studies, administrative reports, and activity reports.