THE Negros Occidental Small Fishers Alliance (Nosfa), the largest province-based formation of small fishers and fish workers, will hold its Founding Provincial Congress today at the Business Inn in Bacolod City as they continue to to push for sustainable fishery and aquatic reforms.
Organized in January this year, Nosfa has formed area alliances and base groups in 15 coastal areas and local government units (LGUs) of the province spread in some 90 fisherfolk organizations. It targets to build chapters in all 25 coastal LGUs of the province by end of 2014.
Nosfa’s Founding Congress is themed, “Ibalay ang Nosfa bilang Sentro ng Tingog sang Magagmay nga Mangingisdasa Negros Padulong sa Pagresolbar sang Kaimolon kag Reporma-Sosyal” (Build Nosfa as the Provincial Leadership Center and Voice of Small Fishers in Negros Towards Poverty Alleviation and Social Reform”).
The Congress is expected to gather more than 150 small fisher leaders and guests coming from throughout the province, Western Visayas, and from Manila.
The Nosfa Congress aims to publicly launch the alliance, elect the officers and members of its Leadership Council, approve its basic papers and its 2014-2015 General Program of Action, present its Policy Action Agenda, and build greater solidarity among Nosfa member-alliances and with other sectors and progressive social movements and development institutions from the local-regional-national levels.
Nosfa adhoc chair Adriano Gomez said that although they were formed only recently, they already demonstrated their capacity and leadership to advocate the issues and concerns of small fishers especially in backing the call of Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon to quell illegal fishing, in presenting fisherfolk grievances and standpoints in various policy and media forums, and in engaging with various national agencies and LGUs to facilitate the delivery of livelihood and social services for the small fishers and poor coastal communities.
Collaborating and providing support for this event is the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 6 and the Negros Office of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), NOSFA’s partner development institution and one of the country’s oldest primary NGOs.
March 8, 2014, Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Quezon City, Philippines