PSA RSSO XII conducted a bilateral meeting with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) XII on selected Agri-Fishery surveys on August 22, 2019 held at PSA Sarangani Provincial Statistical Office, General Santos City. It was attended by PSA RSSO XII Regional Director Atty. Maqtahar L. Manulon, CESO V together with selected staff of the Statistical Operations and Coordination Division (SOCD) of PSA RSSO XII headed by OIC SOCD Chief Ma. Eileen A. Berdeprado and selected SOCD staff. On BFAR XII, Assistant Regional Director Abdelnaser A. Tarabasa headed the group together with Planning Officer Laila L. Emperua and selected BFAR XII staff.
The objectives of the activity are: (1) to strengthen linkages between the PSA and BFAR as a key informant in the quarterly estimation of fish production in the region; (2) for PSA, to be updated of the latest trends and developments in the fishing industry particularly in SOCCSKSARGEN which could help enhance PSA’s data collection methodologies, estimation and validation procedures that will lead to a more reliable statistics; (3) for BFAR, to have an understanding on the methodologies used by the PSA in the conduct of its quarterly fishery surveys; and (4) to brief/orient the participants on the culture of milkfish and shrimps being the two major and emerging aquaculture industries in the region and operations of ponds and cages through site visits to operators in General Santos City.
RD Manulon in his opening message emphasized the importance of collaboration with BFAR as the agency responsible for the development, improvement, management and conservation of the country's fisheries and aquatic resources. He also said that PSA should strengthen partnerships with other agencies in the region in order to further improve data review and validation which will result to more reliable agri-statistics output. ARD Tarabasa also stressed the importance of data harmonization between PSA XII and BFAR XII. After the opening messages, PSA XII presented the basic concepts and methodologies on the quarterly fisheries surveys while BFAR presented the parameters on the culture of selected fish species as well as seasonality of some major marine fish species.
The next day, the group had an actual exposure on fish cages operated by one of the BFAR beneficiaries fisherfolk association in Bawing, General Santos City. Afterwards, the group visited Alsons Aquaculture Corporation (AAC) in Alabel, Sarangani. AAC is the main aquaculture company of the Alcantara Group. It was established in 1997 and began commercial operations in 1998. Its main products are milkfish, tilapia, prawns, seabass, pomfret and processed milkfish products. Operations Manager Jerico S. Pascual together with TSD Supervisor Dalea L. Austero oriented the group with the operations of AAC and accompanied the group in the actual visit of the fish ponds. Lastly, the group proceeded to Polomolok, South Cotabato and visited Gensan Feedmill, Incorporated (GFI). GFI is a manufacturing company that produces animal feeds and carries the B-Meg brand of San Miguel Foods, Incorporated. Operation Supervisor Michael Salgado gave a lecture on the production operations of the company and accompanied the group inside the actual processing area.