November 14, 2023
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos lauded the five local government units (LGUs) which emerged as top performers in the Fisheries Compliance Audit (FishCA) for their effective management of their municipal waters in compliance with fishery laws and policies.
Abalos named this year’s FishCA awardees as Tanza, Cavite (1st place); Naic, Cavite (2nd); Sasmuan, Pampanga (3rd); Balanga City, Bataan (4th); and Macabebe, Pampanga (5th).
“Congratulations sa lahat ng FishCA winners! Inaasahan ko ang inyong patuloy na mabuting pangangasiwa sa inyong municipal waters upang patuloy rin tayong makinabang sa mga sariwang isda at iba pang yamang-tubig na dulot nito,” he said.
The FishCA is being implemented by the DILG with the help of other agencies and non-government organizations to assess and monitor the compliance of all coastal LGUs in the Manila Bay Watershed Area to Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code. It covers 32 LGUs in the National Capital Region, Region III, and Region IV-A.
While the number of LGUs with passing compliance rate increased, Abalos urged low to moderately compliant LGUs to replicate the best practices of the top-performing coastal LGUs for sustained livelihood and food security in communities.
According to Abalos, the LGUs were assessed based on several key indicator areas such as existence of basic municipal/city fisheries ordinance and coastal resource management plan and implementing instrument; functional post-harvest facilities like fish landing sites, fish ports, ice plants, and cold storage; registry of municipal fisherfolk and municipal fishing vessel and gears; creation of municipal/city fisheries and aquatic resources management council; deputation of fishery law enforcement officers/fish wardens; and existing collaboration on coastal resource management.
In compliance with the Supreme Court Mandamus requiring the DILG and 12 other government agencies and LGUs to clean up Manila Bay, the DILG issued several directives to reinforce the responsibilities of LGUs in regulating and monitoring fishery activities in municipal waters.