The Office of Continuing Education and Pahinungod (OCEP) conducted a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) among coastal barangays of Miagao, Tigbauan, Anilao, and Dumangas in Iloilo in coordination with the respective Municipal Agriculture Offices of the Local Government Units (LGUs). The project aimed to come up with an extensive list of the fisherfolks’ training needs so that the University – through its faculty, REPS, administrative personnel, and students – could appropriately respond to these.
The TNA tool was pre-tested among 40 fisher folks in Miagao, 42 in Tigbauan, and 41 in Dumangas. The barangays with the most number of fisherfolks were given top priority as survey sites and a total of 300 individuals from each municipality took part in the actual assessment. Those who participated in Miagao were 248 males and 56 females; 222 males and 78 females in Tigbauan; 179 males and 121 females in Dumangas; and 202 males and 98 females in Anilao.
It is noted that the results – across barangays and municipalities – invariably ranked “Basic Sea Safety and Disaster Preparedness” as number one among 14 identified training areas. During the FGDs, however, it was clarified that the fisher folks equate climate change with disasters, which they have observed as already having negative effects not only on their personal safety but also, and equally important, to their catch and livelihood. The fisher folks expressed the need to have alternative livelihood to augment their present intermittent income from fishing and to prepare for off-fishing seasons when they have very meager financial resources.
As a result of the TNA, OCEP collaborated with the Gender and Development Program (GDP) and the School of Technology (SoTech) in conducting the initial training activities. The GDP ran 4 sessions of Gender Sensitivity Orientation; Sotech conducted Basic Food Safety and Fruit Processing and Preservation.
It is envisioned that, with the concerted efforts of everyone in the university, the presence of UP Visayas will have a positive impact on the lives of the communities it is mandated to serve.