More than 33,000 poor fisherfolk identified through the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Listahanan shall be prioritized in a livelihood support program of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR).

The program, known as the Targeted Actions to Reduce Poverty and General Economic Transformation (TARGET) in the fishery sector, aims to provide poor fisherfolk with fishing boats, motor engines, aquaculture inputs, and farm implements.

In addition, it shall enforce Executive Order 154 series of 2014 which sanctions or penalizes illegal fishing in the country.

The implementation of TARGET is in line with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s social agenda of poverty alleviation and inclusive growth in sectors with a high poverty incidence that include the fisherfolk sector, which has a poverty incidence of 39.9%, the highest among the nine basic sectors based on the 2012 Official Poverty Statistics. This means that four out of 10 fisherfolk are poor.

DA Secretary Proceso Alcala said that improving the lives of the 33,000 poor fisherfolk will reduce 4% of the poverty incidence.

“We are supportive of the goals of TARGET program. We believe that converging the government’s resources on the Listahanan-identified poor will translate to a higher impact on poverty reduction,”  DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are. It makes available to national government agencies, local government units, and other social protection stakeholders a comprehensive list of poor households as a basis for beneficiary identification.

In 2011, the Listahanan identified around 3.3 million poor farmers, foresters, and fisherfolk.

The 33,000 beneficiaries of TARGET constitute 30% of 166,000 Listahanan-identified poor fishermen who are also registered in BFAR’s Fisherfolk Registry System (FishR).

The DSWD is set to update the Listahanan database in 2015. In its second assessment, the DSWD will get detailed information on the type of occupation of each individual who will be assessed.

“A detailed information on occupation, including fishing, will surely be helpful in the implementation and  targeted delivery of government social protection initiatives,” Sec. Soliman added.