A MEMORANDUM of understanding (MOU) was signed between a foreign foundation, different business organizations and local government units (LGUs) in Central Visayas to help boost the livelihood of small-scale fishermen and micro-, small-, and medium-sized entrepreneurs.

The Afos Foundation for Entrepreneurial Development Cooperation (AFEDC) from Germany inked the agreement with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Siquijor Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (SCCII), CCCI-Bantayan Island chapter, Department of Science and Technology in Central Visayas (DOST 7), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI 7) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR 7).

The LGUs that will host the phase 2 of Afos Foundation's Fish Visayas Project also signed the memorandum of understanding, namely, Bantayan town in Bantayan Island, Cebu; Cordova town on Mactan Island, Cebu; Tagbilaran City and the municipalities of Alburquerque, President Carlos P. Garcia, and Ubay in Bohol; La Libertad in Negros Oriental; and San Juan and Siquijor towns in the province of Siquijor.

The project was first implemented in 2019 in Tagbilaran City, President Carlos P. Garcia, Ayungon and La Libertad towns in Negros Oriental and Bantayan town in Cebu.

In July this year, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development approved the application of Afos Foundation to implement the project that aims "to promote sustainable fisheries and related food value chains in the Central Visayas."

The partner organizations such as the CCCI, BCCI, SCCII and CCCI-BIC will be tasked to implement the project for their respective members from partner LGUs to help uplift their lives.

The regional offices such as the DOST, DTI and BFAR also have their respective roles in the project.

"DOST is mandated to provide central direction, leadership and coordination of scientific and technological efforts and ensure that the results therefrom are geared and utilized in areas of maximum economic and social benefits for the people," the MOU stated.

"DTI is responsible for realizing the country's goal of globally competitive and innovative industry and services sector that contribute to inclusive growth and employment generation," it added.

BFAR, meanwhile, “is the government agency responsible for the development, improvement, management and conservation of the country's fisheries and aquatic resources.”

During the MOU signing Thursday, the Afos Foundation was represented by its acting chief executive officer Ana Maria Puyalto Pardina, while the business organizations were represented by their respective presidents.

Also present were regional directors of the government agencies and mayors of the local government units involved. (PAC, TPT)