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Center for Empowerment and Resource Development

Batangas Progam

From 1991 to 2001, CERD developed the FIRMED program in Batangas to facilitate the formation of mixed-gender fisherfolk organizations at both the barangay and municipal levels. In the whole of Balayan Bay (including the smaller Pagapas Bay), CERD launched the program in four coastal municipalities wherein three municipal level federations were formed and provided with assistance.

The program facilitated the implementation of barangay-level coastal and fishery resource management strategies such as mangrove reforestation, marine reserve and fish sanctuary establishment, and artificial reef installations. CO-management bodies like the Fishery Aquatic Resource Management Council (FARMC) from the barangays, municipal to bay level were formed and maximized by the fisherfolk organizations so that policy recommendations were adopted and fisheries management projects funded.

In 1998, the FIRMED program ended in the municipality of Calatagan, Western Batangas. The municipal-level SAMMACA (Organization of Small Fisherfolk in Calatagan) has since carried on the work utilizing its own plan and projects. CERD maintains a partnership with SAMMACA by means of continuing assistance on project development and resource inventory and assessment.

Likewise, in 2001 CERD involvement in the municipal program of Balayan terminated. The municipal-level fisherfolk organization ANAK BALAYAN now operates and implements a CB-CRM (community-based coastal resource management) project in coastal barangays. CERD also continues to provide assistance in the areas of planning & assessment, project development, resource inventory and monitoring, as well as resource organization for specific education and training needs.