DILG Region III, together with the members of partner agencies that make up the Regional Validation Team (RVT), successfully completed the initial table assessment and onsite inspection of 20 coastal local government units (LGUs) under the Manila Bay watershed areas for the annually held Fisheries Compliance Audit.

 The Fisheries Compliance Audit, or commonly known as FishCA, is a program under the Manila Bay Clean-up, Rehabilitation and Preservation Program (MBCRPP) that assesses the compliance of the LGUs to the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. The DILG is the lead agency tasked to coordinate and monitor compliance at the LGU level.

Leading the Regional Validation Team are members of the Manila Bay Program Management Team (MB-PMT) from the Department, together with representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Environmental Resources (DENR), and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Politics (PPCRP). The series of assessments and site inspections kicked off on April 19 at the municipalities of Sasmuan and Lubao in Pampanga and Orion in Bataan while the rest of the LGUs were each given their assessment schedules until May 2. During the assessment, the RVT assessed the level of compliance of the different LGUs to the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 using eleven indicators designed to assess their policies and plans, monitoring and administration of their municipal waters and enforcement of the same policies.

Among the key findings in the region is the continuous development and implementation of technical support to fisher folks and the presence of comprehensive plans that are centered on the effective management of their natural resources. Some of the technical assistance given were distribution of fingerlings and trainings on alternative livelihood for the fisher folks.

After the initial table assessment, the RVT will again convene for the final table assessment and post-validation to determine the three (3) top-performing LGUs who will receive cash incentives and will be nominated to qualify to the next round—the national validations. The regional awardees will be given cash incentives amounting to P200,000 for the 1st place, P150,000 for the 2nd place and P100, 000 for the 3rd place while the resulting national awardee will be awarded P1,000,000. These incentives shall then be used to sustain their existing best practices on fisheries management as well as the further development of their programs and plans. DILG R3 commends the LGUs in their consistent outstanding performance in the audit and is looking forward to the further implementation of their programs and plans.