PH okays WTO's accord on subsidies to help disaster-hit fisherfolks | Inquirer News

PH okays WTO’s accord on subsidies to help disaster-hit fisherfolks

/ 05:56 PM February 28, 2024

The Department of Agriculture (DA) must renounce importation policies if it truly wants to support the country’s farmers, a progressive fisherfolk group said on Sunday.

These fishermen are seen catching blue crabs along Sugar beach in Sipalay city, Negros Occidental. (From RONNIE BALDONADO / CONTRIBUTOR)

MANILA, Philippines — Philippines, through Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has ratified the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies (FSA) of World Trade Organization (WTO).

According to DTI, Trade Secretary Fred Pascual has submitted Philippines’ instrument of ratification to WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on February 27.


“The Agreement allows Members to grant subsidies for disaster relief under certain conditions to support fisherfolks impacted by natural disasters,” Pascual said.


“This is vital to the Philippines, being a climate-vulnerable country, especially since small-scale and artisanal fisherfolks are heavily impacted by strong typhoons and the increasing sea temperatures exacerbated by climate change,” he added.

The FSA, which was adopted in 2022, aims to promote marine protection by prohibiting subsidies that allow illegal and unregulated fishing.

“The WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, adopted at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) on 17 June 2022, marks a major step forward for ocean sustainability by prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world’s fish stocks,” WTO had said.

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TAGS: Calamities, Fishermen, subsidies

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