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The formulation of a Coastal Resource Management Plan is one crucial step in addressing holistically the varied interconnected and interacting problems in a coastal municipality.
Most, if not all, coastal communities in the country are trapped in the vicious cycle of resource degradation and depletion and the growing poverty of the coastal communities. As the coastal folk are poor and lack skills and options for livelihood, they are forced to over-exploit the resource base that leads to a rapid loss of integrity of the coastal ecosystem. The inability of the resource base to renew itself due to heavy pressure aggravates further the poverty of the coastal populace.
The coastal municipality of Dumalinao showcases an open access regime where resources use is uncontrolled and unregulated affecting adversely the quality of life of the people. Over the years, the condition of Dumalinao’s coastal habitats and fisheries has shown steep deterioration and decline. This is caused mainly by destructive dynamite and cyanide fishing, excessive fishing with the use of non-selective gears, quarrying of corals, as well as the unstoppable incursion of commercial fishers into its shallow waters and coral reefs. These harmful practices have damaged critical habitats, lowered fish diversity and abundance, and reduced ultimately the income of municipal fishers for lack of manpower, technical expertise, funds and logistics, the local government finds itself almost helpless and ineffectual in its drive to reverse the growing crisis in the coastal waters.
The Coastal Resource Management Plan of Dumalinao is a document that recognizes the problems and issues that beset the coastal municipality and summons the strategies and programs to surmount them. Originally, the first CRM plan is a product of broad and long process of multi-sectoral community participation spearheaded by the municipal and barangay governments of Dumalinao. It was made possible through the able assistance of the USAID-DENR Philippine Environmental Governance Program (EcoGov) in Mindanao.
The coastal resource management planning activity started with the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement by and between the Local Government Unit of Dumalinao and EcoGov Mindanao on October 10, 2002. The agreement was made to assist and strengthen the capability of the local government of Dumalinao to deliver basic services along coastal resource management, as mandated by the Local Government Code of 1991 and the Fisheries Code of 1998.
As time passes by, the present leadership has felt the strong urgency to update and revise the same in order to be responsive to the present setting and circumstances, very timely in the enactment of the new Philippine Fishery Law Republic Act 10654, amending RA 8550. This law inspired the Local Government of Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur to formulate its Municipal Fishery Ordinance of 2018. And this paved the way to the total revitalization of the local Fishery sector.
This new plan is a by-product of a pain sticking marathon of participatory processes including IEC, FGD, consultation, meetings and survey activities among the Fisherfolk Association members, MFARMC, stakeholders and LGU Officials led by the Hon. Mayor Junaflor S. Cerilles, RMT, through the CRM office.