Silliman University in Dumaguete City will implement in southern Negros the national financial education program for fishers, that was launched recently by the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, BDO Foundation, and Fish Right Program.
The program will train fishers on topics, such as saving and budgeting, supplementary income sources, and the proper use of micro-loans and micro-insurance, a press release from SU said.
SU president Betty Cernol McCann said the financial education program aims to help alleviate poverty among fishing communities, and free fishers from the pressure of overfishing, a practice that damages marine ecosystems.
The school is involved in the program because it is an implementing institution of the Fish Right Program in southern Negros, that is a partnership between DA-BFAR and the US Agency for International Development, to improve marine biodiversity and the fisheries sector in three key ecological areas in the Philippines.
With experience in the fisheries sector, Fish Right Program implementors across the country, including SU, were tapped for the financial education program to reach as many fishing communities as possible, the press release said.
“Through USAID Fish Right program, we hope to build the capacity of more than 25,000 fishers with the intent to reach even more with the help of our partner NGOs and universities in Calamianes Island Group, South Negros, and the Visayan Sea,” Patrick Wesner, USAID Philippines deputy mission director, said.
Assistant professor Mylah Bomediano, the representative of the SU Government Affairs Center in the Technical Working Group for the financial education program, said SU conducted the first field testing of the financial education program modules among potential trainers in southern Negros, including representatives from SUGA Center, BFAR Negros Oriental, the DCCCO Multipurpose Cooperative, and the Negros Oriental Electric Cooperative.
The potential trainers from these organizations also contributed to the module development, the press release said.*