GENERAL SANTOS City– The city government is set to link up with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for the registration of the municipal fishing vessels and gears of fishermen in the city.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera sought authority from the Sangguniang Panlungsod or city council on Tuesday for the forging of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with BFAR in Region 12 to facilitate the implementation of the initiative.
Dubbed BoatR, the program is a parallel effort of the Department of Agriculture and BFAR to the ongoing registration of the country’s municipal fishery stakeholders.
The two initiatives are designed to aid the government craft tailor-made policies and programs to help improve the socio-economic status of smallholder fishers.
BFAR launched BoatR last year to assist cities and municipalities in the registration of the municipal fishing vessels and gears of subsistent fisher folk as mandated by Republic Act 8550 or the Fisheries Code.
City Councilor Ramon Milleza said the proposed agreement mainly defines the terms and conditions for the implementation of the BoatR program in the city.
He said its rollout will involve the use of mobile tablets and a special application launched last February by DA and BFAR.
“The project will be highly beneficial to our poor and marginalized fisher folk,” he said.
The official lauded the use of the mobile tablets for the project as it will ensure the speedy and consistent submission of registration reports to the BFAR database.
DA and BFAR had linked up with Smart Communications and adopted the boat admeasurement mobile application to speed up and ensure the accuracy of the boat registration program.
The customized application would enable local agriculture officers as survey takers to capture and store relevant data – including contact details of the owner and the vessel’s actual photos, engine serial number and specifications – using a tablet computer.
They can directly send these information from their tablets to a database where it will be centrally collected and processed.
Smart will provide the tablets for free, with DA-BFAR paying only the one-year data subscription bundled with the units.(PNA)