SFFAII Orients Tuna Stakeholders on New Fisheries Regulations


The SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. (SFFAII) in partnership with Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans) organized the Orientation Seminar on New Regulations on Fisheries last January 4, 2019 at East Asia Royal Hotel, General Santos City. The event was attended by First Movers and Non-First Movers from the tuna stakeholders. The orientation seminar aims to increase awareness of all tuna stakeholders on the newly adopted and implemented regulations on the fishery sector. 

Ms. Rosanna Bernadette Contreras, the Executive Director of SFFAII, gave a welcome remarks to the participants of the said seminar. She said that this event aims to know what are the new fishery regulations and its amendments. She also said that this event gives them an opportunity to ask relevant questions concerning their sector. As she said, this may not be directly affect them but may indirectly affect their sector. So it is important to know these new regulations. 

The Philippine Government recently passed and implemented numerous policies and regulations that will significantly impact the fishery sector. In accordance with the government’s commitment to eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has passed new Administrative Orders (BAC) and Fisheries Administrative Orders (FAO) to support effective national fisheries monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS), catch documentation and traceability, and registration and licensing of commercial fishing vessels. 

Mr. Peter Erick Cadapan, from BFAR, presented the salient points of Fisheries Administrative Order 198-1 series of 2018 or the Amended Rules and Regulations on Registration and Licensing of Commercial Fishing Vessels, Fishing Gears, and Fishworkers. He also discussed the BFAR Administrative Circular No. 253-1 series of 2018 or the Moratorium on the Issuance of Commercial Fishing Vessel and Gear Licenses and other Clearances

Mr. Isidro Tanangonan, BFAR Philippine Fisheries Observer Program, presented the contents of Fisheries Administrative Order 261. FAO 261 was signed by Sec. Emmanuel F. PiƱol on October 15, 2018 and published on October 16, 2018 in The Manila Times. It took effect on November 1, 2018. 

Atty. Benjamin Tabios presented legal basis and provisions of Fisheries Administrative Order 260 or the Regulations on the Implementation of Vessel Monitoring Measures (VMM) and Electronic Reporting System (ERS) for Commercial Philippine Flagged Fishing Vessels Targeting Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks. FAO 260 has six chapters and twenty-nine sections. 

Aimed to ensure the safety and security of the Filipino fishermen at sea, MARINA Board has recently approved the Philippine Fishing Vessels Safety Rules and Regulations (PFVSRR) for enhanced regulation of Philippine-registered fishing vessels. This is to have separate regulation for fishing vessels, from the existing merchant marine rules and regulations, that outlines design, construction, occupational safety and health, manning requirements, certification, training and watchkeeping standards. 

Atty. Cherry Mae Delfin presented its salient features and emphasized that all new fishing vessels need to comply with the PFVSRR. While the old fishing vessels shall be given a period of one (1) year from the effectivity of the PFVSRR 2018. The provisions of these Rules and Regulations shall not apply to fishing vessels of 3 GT and below. 

In August 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Republic Act (RA) 11058, or An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational, Safety and Health (OSH) Standard. The newly-signed law covers all sectors, including fishing, requires all employers to furnish the workers a place of employment free from hazardous conditions, give complete job safety instructions or orientation to all the workers, inform the workers of the hazard associated with their work, and use only approved devices and equipment for the workplace. The Department of Labor and Employment recently issued the Implementing Rules and Regulation of RA 11058. 

Ms. Fatima Bataga presented the DOLE Department Order 198-18: The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 11058 otherwise known as “An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violations Thereof.” 

The IRR of RA 11058 was signed on December 6, 2018. She said that the IRR is not yet published in the national publication and therefore it is not yet effective. Her presentation was only a draft and there may be possible changes in some provisions of the IRR. Ms. Bataga said that they will distribute copies to employers after the finalization and printing of the IRR. Their office is open for inquiries related to labor matters. 

SFFAII facilitated the open forum to give tuna stakeholders the opportunity to ask questions concerning their sector. 


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SFFAII Orients Tuna Stakeholders on New Fisheries Regulations
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