LEGAZPI CITY—The Department of Agriculture-5 attended the 3rd Quarter Meeting of the Regional Coordination and Steering Committee in Albay Gulf of the Fisheries Coastal Resources and Livelihood Project (FishCORAL Project) on September 26, 2019 in one of the hotels here to discuss the FishCORAL Project Accomplishments, Financial Report, status of fund transfer to LGUs and the encountered issues and concerns.

According to BFAR-5 Finance and Administration Chief Marjurie B. Grutas, the Bicol region received Php 437.7 Million Pesos budget. As of 2019, the project has only Php 42.7M to be spent for its projects in Albay Gulf, Asid Gulf and Ragay Gulf. For 2020, the remaining budget is only Php 21.40M pesos.

Regional Project Coordinator Fermin C. Rempillo said that this year, there are 39 parabolic units for distribution— 14 units in Asid Gulf, 8 units in Albay Gulf, 15 units in Ragay Gulf, and 2 units to be stationed in BFAR-5 office.

Rempillo also added that 44% of the beneficiaries are women.

Other members of the RCSC are the Department of Interior and Local Government, Philippine Coast Guard, Naval Force Southern Luzon, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Economic and Development Authority, Provincial Local Government Unit of Masbate and Camarines Sur, Philippine National Police, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Tourism and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-5 and FIshCORAL Project Bicol Staff.

The RSCS is tasked to provide policy and institutional advisory committee and the convergence body for the effective and efficient delivery of the various agencies support in the project implementation.

The FishCORAL Project is a five-year endeavor (2016-2020) of the Philippines and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) which aimed at reducing poverty in economically-challenged coastal communities, and strengthening local food and nutrition security in the target areas in the Philippines. It is being implemented in Regions 5 (Bicol), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 13 (Caraga), and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). (jaysonmgonzales)