Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) reiterated his full support for the fisheries sector and its stakeholders during a planning workshop of the Negros 3rd District Coastal Resources Management and Development Council (N3DCRMDC) held in Talisay City today, March 18.
The workshop was under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Fish Right Program, a press release from the congressman’s office said.
Benitez said the sector needs critical attention as resources are notably declining brought about by several causes and it is a welcome move to be working together with an urgency.
Under the guidance of the USAID Fish Right Program, the N3DCRMDC brought together Victorias, EB Magalona, Silay and Talisay with the support of national agencies and provincial offices involved in fisheries, the press release said.
An Eco-System Approach to Fisheries Management Program is now in the planning stage targeting to improve management of coastal resources through closer cooperation and coordination and convergence, it said.
The one-day planning activity included presentations on coastal habitats by the Provincial Environment Management Office, fisheries resources profile by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and the Coastal Monitoring and Vulnerability Assessment System (CMVAS) developed by a team from the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College.
The USAID Fish Right Team that led the planning workshop included Andrea Leonor Barcelona, coordinator for Visayan Area, and lawyers James Kho and Wilmon Peñalosa.
Coordinating the activity was N3CRMDC executive director Eduardo Fuentebella.
In December 2019 the partnership among the local government units for the restoration and conservation of fisheries and aquatic resources in the Third District was formalized with the signing of a memorandum of agreement fully supported by Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Benitez , concerned national agencies, provincial offices, the academe and the non-government organizations, the press release said.
The Council is chaired by Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca.*