Subic, Zambales, September 1, 2017, The 111th Squadron of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary District National Capital Region-Central Luzon (CGAD NCR-CL), one of the main proponents of the International Coastal Cleanup Zambales, is in partnership with the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) and the Local Government of Subic, Zambales launched the PCGA Eco Projects & Awarding of Fishery Livelihood Assistance at the new Municipal Fish Port in Brgy. Baraca-Camachile, Subic Zambales.
Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Environment, Agriculture and Food said it feels a special kinship with the PCGA not just because she was given an honorary rank of Commodore last year, but also because one of its mandates not just to ensure maritime safety of the country but also the protection of marine environment. "Environmental protection is very close to my heart and is one of my advocacies particularly marine environment which is critical for the fishing sector,” Sen. Villar said during her welcome remarks.
Fisheries Sector is a big part of the agriculture sector wherein Agriculture contributes over 10 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and fisheries contribute between 15-18 percent of the agriculture sector. The DA-BFAR has been working together with Senator Villar in many projects across the country which includes the donation of fishing equipment and livelihood assistance. “This aid will allow the beneficiaries to improve their quality of life. My goal is to reduce poverty through job creation and livelihood generation. We assure the fisher folks that we will continue to support them through our programs and bill writings,” she added.
The 111th Squadron of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, known for its active support for the environment, is partnering with the Municipality of Subic together with the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce in promoting responsible tourism and creating sustainable livelihood programs if not eliminate, at least mitigate poverty. The 111th Fleet has adopted an area in Sitio Cawag called Sampaloc Cove with a population of around 70 indigenous families. The group is working with MAD Travelin creating and operating an inclusive and sustainable eco-tourism program that provides a triple bottom line: giving livelihood to the community, inspiring our visitors to enjoy our environment and help protect our planet, and helping tourism growth in the area, giving business to the tourism stakeholders.
"In environmental destruction, the worst sufferers are the marginalized cultures and occupations. There cannot be proper economic and social development without a holistic understanding of society and nature. If we care for the poor, we cannot allow the Gross Nature Product to be destroyed any further. Conserving and recreating nature has become our highest priority,” said Captain Ariel Cayanan PCGA, 111th Director Auxiliary Squadron and Undersecretary for Operations for BFAR.
“These eco tours are part of our environmental program together with our ICC activities which aim to reverse the growing alienation between people and our natural environment. In reality there is a lot we can all learn from indigenous cultures about what really matters and what can truly make you feel happy and fulfilled in your life,” said Lcdr Zed Avecilla PCGA, Deputy Chief of Staff for Marine Environment Protection for the 111th Squadron and Executive Director for the Lighthouse Marina Resort Legacy Foundation and Clean Up the Philippines - Official. “We look forward to more collaborations with BFAR and Senator Villar that supports our environmental advocacies,” he added.
Dedicated in creating a wave of change to help preserve our environment