Surigao del Norte LGU, US Embassy, youth group support fisherfolks' livelihood

Published June 15, 2021, 3:59 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Thirty-eight youth leaders and 12 local government personnel from the Municipality of Del Carmen in the pristine Siargao Island, Surigao Del Norte have participated in the launching of the ‘Bayanivation’ Bootcamp, a project aimed to support fisherfolks’ livelihood.

Bayanivation participants propose projects to help revive and sustain the livelihood of people engaged in the fisheries sector in Del Carmen, Surigao Del Norte. (US Embassy in Manila)

A joint initiative by the United States Embassy in the Philippines, together with Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) alumni, Limitless Lab, and the Local Government of Del Carmen, the design thinking boot camp kicked off at the Surigao State College of Technology in the municipality from June 2 to 4 amid strict COVID-19 protocols.

While following COVID-19 protocols, 38 youth leaders and 12 local government personnel participated in the boot camp and formulated innovative projects to support fisherfolks’ livelihoods.

Del Carmen Vice Mayor Alfredo Coro II lauded the launching of the Bayanivation project in their municipality that could open fresh ideas from the youth of Del Carmen on how to revive and sustain their fisheries sector.

Municipality of Del Carmen, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte (Del Carmen LGU)

“The pandemic had a severe impact on our fisherfolks, with most restaurants and resorts closed, and many daily wage earners losing their jobs. The price of fish went down due to the absence of commercial and household buyers,” Vice Mayor Alfredo Coro said

During the three-day Bayanivation boot camp, YSEALI alumni experts in design-thinking, project management, and community organizing led workshops and mentoring sessions for the participants. As a result, participants formulated marketing and livelihood projects for people engaged in the fisheries sector of the municipality.

The Del Carmen LGU will fund three projects with seed grants of P20,000 (approximately $418) each for implementation, while YSEALI alumni and Limitless Lab will provide continued mentorship. These projects include organizing a small-scale night market where fisherfolks can directly sell to local customers, a social media-based online market, and the production of organic fertilizers from fish wastes that fisherfolks can supply to farms.

Bayanivation introduces innovation and digital transformation in local government units’ services and programs in the Philippines. Its proponents are YSEALI alumni who received funding support from the US Department of State’s 2019 US Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund.

Since its launch in 2013, YSEALI has provided Southeast Asian youth leaders with educational and cultural exchanges with the United States and Southeast Asian countries, seed funding for innovative project ideas, and training programs on civic engagement, sustainable development, education, and economic growth. It has grown to become a network of more than 150,000 youth leaders in Southeast Asia, including 28,000 in the Philippines.