The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) asserted the importance of formulating science-based policies in the development of the country’s blue economy during its Science Policy and Information Forum 2019: The Philippine Blue Economy Part 2 last February 15, 2019 at Luxent Hotel, Quezon City.
The Forum is a continuation of NAST PHL’s campaign to promote the development of the Philippine blue economy, picking up from the first part, which was organized last January 28, 2019.
With an estimated value of around $900-B, the blue economy, which includes marine-based economic activities such as fisheries, marine tourism, and shipbuilding, has the potential to catapult the country into progress.
NAST PHL President Academician Rhodora V. Azanza appealed to the participants to bring the issue to Congress. According to her, “We will be needing the full support of everybody to bring these issues to the plates of our policymakers.”
Blue Economy Policies
One of the highlights during the Forum was the talk on the status of the maritime affairs in the country, which included a discussion on the current policies of the government in terms of its coastal and marine affairs. Mr. Michael Eric Castillo, a consultant of the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat, pointed out the failure to fully implement the 24-year old National Marine Policy (NMP) as one of the major reasons for the underdevelopment of the country’s blue economy.
“Majority of poor Filipinos live in the coastal areas. If we are going to make a dent in poverty reduction, the area or locus of policy implementation should be at the coastal community,” Castillo said.
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The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) hails the filing of the Senate resolution calling for an inquiry on the country’s blue economy.
The Senate Resolution 1017, filed by Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, seeks to conduct an inquiry and investigation on the current policies and programs of the government regarding the Philippine blue economy. The “Blue Economy” refers to the country’s ocean-based economy, which includes aquaculture and capture fisheries, marine tourism, marine biodiversity, and shipbuilding among others.
The Resolution highlights the country’s maritime history and culture, dating back to the Malay migration through “balangays” during the ancient times and the Galleon Trade during the Spanish Era. It also mentioned the potential of the country’s maritime territories, which includes the West Philippine Sea and the Philippine Rise, which is believed to be rich in mineral and fisheries resources.