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Government assistance for workers impacted by the suspended fishing season

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The Department of Labor and Employment announced on Thursday that the government is prepared to offer temporary employment to workers who would be impacted by the yearly closure of the fishing season in Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula).

Affected workers in the fishing and canning industries would receive emergency job help under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, according to lawyer Roy Buenafe, the head of DOLE-Region 9.

“The fishing season will be closed from December 1 this year until February of the next year. 35,000 employees will be affected, according to Buenafe, who spoke at the Laging Handa meeting.

“We will help, and this help will come in the form of emergency employment. They will work on the farm and receive pay for 15 days, he continued.

According to Buenafe, since TUPAD was established during the closed fishing season, they have helped 4,000 workers in 2020 and 2021.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources issued Circular No. 255 in 2014 to enhance the annual three-month Closed-Sea Season for the Conservation of Sardines in East Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait, and Sibuguey Bay, which had been put into place in 2011 as an initial phase (BFAR).

According to the circular, sardine fishing is prohibited in the three water bodies from December 1 through March 1 of the following year to allow for the Sardinella fish species’ three-month reproductive period.

The introduction of the limited season has been attributed to the annual increase in sardine catches.

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