Iloilo River wows APEC delegates

Delegates to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2015 High-Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and Blue Economy (HLPDFSBE) and Related Meetings in Iloilo City appreciated the beauty of the Iloilo River from the rooftop of the Iloilo City Hall on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. The delegates from APEC member states attended the said high-level dialogue and related meetings on food security and fishery from October 2 to 6 held at Iloilo Convention Center.

At the culmination of HLPDFSBE, the Iloilo Plan of Action on Food Security and the Blue Economy was adopted. Iloilo Plan of Action is pushing the interest of small-scale farmers and fisherfolks in the Asia Pacific economies.

Co-Chair of the HLPDFSBE Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said instructions from the President Aquino mandated to push not just the interests of small and medium enterprises but also the more numerous micro-enterprises. “These include the small farmers, fishers and agribusiness entrepreneurs, reflecting the objective of fostering all-inclusive growth,” he said.

The Iloilo Plan of Action has three pillars: 1) blue economy towards sustainable food supply chains for food security, 2) fish loss reduction for increased fish production, and 3) agribusiness development for food security and inclusive growth.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources National Director Asis Perez said “one important element in the recommendations is to have a resilient ocean, coastal resources and ecosystems and sustainable aquaculture. Sustainable ocean is a prerequisite to sustainable production.”