Empowering Bantayan Island: CCCI x AFOS Foundation Collaborate Through FISH Visayas Project

In a concerted effort to empower the community of Bantayan Island, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), in partnership with the AFOS Foundation, launched a three-day initiative through the FISH Visayas Project. This initiative, which took place from August 29 to 31, was marked by a multifaceted approach aimed at empowering the community of Bantayan Island.

Over the course of this three-day endeavor, the FISH Visayas team spearheaded a comprehensive program that included Financial Literacy Training, Post-implementation Evaluation for solid waste management, and company site visits focused on seafood processing.

CCCI’s visit through Fish Visayas demonstrates its strong commitment to empowering Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), fisherfolk, and the local community.

With the vision to build a financially resilient community of fisher folks and vendors, Fish Visayas Project conducted a two-day Financial Literacy Training last August 29 and 30 which was benchmarked from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ (BFAR) Fish n’ Learn Program. 

Led by Ms. Evelyn Catanda of BFAR Region VII, the training immersed participants in real-life financial scenarios, equipping them with essential financial management skills. Topics covered included budgeting, saving, debt management, and strategies for additional income generation. The aim was to empower the participants to make informed financial decisions, a crucial step towards economic well-being and self-sustainability.

The event attracted a total of 60 participants from various fishery organizations and associations. The FISH Visayas team firmly believes that by providing basic financial management skills to coastal communities, they are paving the way for a more resilient and self-sustaining future, where individuals can confidently navigate economic challenges and seize growth opportunities.

In addition to financial training, FISH Visayas also conducted a Post-implementation Evaluation for the Solid Waste Management program known as “Basura Hipusa, Kahimsug Panggaa” (BAKHAP) in collaboration with the CCCI Bantayan Island Chapter and the Local Government Unit of Bantayan. The BAKHAP program was initiated to minimize solid waste on the island by empowering citizens on proper waste management practices. The program’s success in eight initial barangays led to its adoption by the LGU and other communities.

The post-implementation evaluation assessed the BAKHAP program’s efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability in achieving its intended outcomes in a cost-effective and resource-efficient manner. It also aimed to identify challenges and areas for improvement, providing valuable insights for future initiatives.

Seizing the opportunity for potential industry collaboration and the cultivation of a skilled workforce, FISH Visayas further strengthened its ties with the local community by visiting various companies in Bantayan Island, particularly those in the seafood manufacturing industry. 

These visits align with FISH Visayas’ commitment to bolstering the local workforce and efficient business production thereby propelling the island towards sustainable economic growth. The visits also aimed to foster collaboration between the academe and business industries to produce skilled workers through adequate training.

The successful visit to Bantayan Island provided FISH Visayas with invaluable insights that will inform future intervention programs. The project implementers remain optimistic that through collaborative efforts with local coastal communities, shared prosperity can become a reality.

Fish Visayas Project is committed to empowering communities in line with its vision to increase and make sustainable incomes for fisherfolk and MSMEs not only in Fisheries but also in related Value Chains in Central Visayas. 

To know more about the FISH Visayas Project and their upcoming seminar and trainings, please contact Karen Joy Autor (09996111506 / karen@cebuchamber.org) and Tanya Arnie Uy (09065022657 / tanya@cebuchamber.org).