TACLOBAN CITY– At least 13 coastal towns and the city of Maasin in Southern Leyte were named as beneficiaries of a World Bank-funded fishery management project.

The 13 local government units that were identified as beneficiaries under the project, spearheaded by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) under its fisheries and coastal resiliency (FishCoRe), would receive rehabilitation support for coastal and marine habitats, climate-resilient fisheries infrastructure, livelihood enterprise development assistance, and appropriate fisheries management development support throughout the project’s duration.

The FishCoRe Project is a seven-year developmental initiative to be implemented by BFAR with the support of the World Bank which provided an initial funding of P35 million for its first three years of implementation.

The identified LGUs, which are all located within the Sogod Bay, are Sogod, Libangon, Liloan, San Francisco, San Ricardo, Pintuyan, Padre Burgos, Macrohon, Malitbog, Tomas Oppus, Bontoc, Limasawa, and Maasin City, the provincial capital.

The project was formally launched on December 11 held in Tacloban City.

BFAR Regional Director Hannibal Chavez said that the collaboration aims to ensure that Southern Leyte maximizes this opportunity to aid its people in recovering from Typhoon Odette’s impact that hit the province December 2021 and undertake resilient fisheries conservation measures for sustainable resource management.

“Another beacon of hope is to be granted to the hardworking and earnest people of Southern Leyte as they recover from the impact of typhoon Odette, which left the province, especially its coastal communities, facing a significant challenge to regain what they had before the unexpected devastation of this typhoon in 2021,” Chavez said.

Representing Governor Damian Mercado, board member Rolando Bacoy said that they are happy that Southern Leyte was chosen as a beneficiary of this fishery management and conservation project of BFAR.

“The provincial government is very happy that the Sogod Area is part of the fisheries management area and hopefully all the mayors, the municipal agricultural officers, and our coastal communities will help together hand in hand for the benefit of all the fisherfolks in the province. We are also hoping that it will expand to other areas, especially in our Pacific towns,” he said.

The project has three major component, fisheries and coastal resilient resource planning management (FishCRRM), modern and resilient livelihood investments (Marlin), and support to project implementation and management (SuPRIM).

It was learned that among the first three-year deliverables are the FMA framework plan and fisheries management plan (FMP) implementation, diversified livelihood projects, and operationalization of its FMA Coordinating Unit (FCU).

FCU will facilitate the implementation of FMA plans and programs, provide necessary technical assistance and advice to LGUs and the private sector, and actively support the integration of various fisheries-related plans into the provincial and municipal development and investment programs within the province.