Fisher Folk of the Philippines

Tambuyog — a Pangasinense word for carabao horn, which signifies a call for unity. Originating from UP researchers who conducted research and organizing in the communities along the Lingayen Gulf of Pangasinan, Tambuyog Developement Center is an NGO dedicated to creating a sustainable development in small-scale fishing industries that can one day lead to improvement on a global scale.

 What struck me most during our orientation in Tambuyog is their mission. People are so concerned on agricultural problems and OFW problems that fishermen weren’t even given a thought by so many people and, unimpressively, including me. It hit me like; whoa, how could I have missed this. It’s so inspiring that people in Tambuyog have done what they can to realize their goals of helping the marginalized sector of the fishing industry for 25 years given that not many people know about it.

Tambuyog recognizes the needs of the people from coastal communities. It adds to their strength; how they understand that these people will cooperate and do what they can because theirs are the biggest risks of having to preserve the limited resources they have. Tambuyog offers these people help in managing their resources by teaching economical, political and biological concepts. Tambuyog doesn’t go after changing the whole fishing sector of the Philippines, they start small hoping and striving that these small steps are what will lead to a greater progress in the future.

What impresses me, also, is that they are not only helping fishermen, they also take with them, in their mission and campaigns the rights and welfare of women in the fishing industry. Also, while doing all of this, Tambuyog responds to Climate Change. They do what they can in the coastal areas to reduce its effects.


Ina Isabel C. Lingan



2 thoughts on “Fisher Folk of the Philippines

  1. It is true that the fishing industry does not get as much attention as the farming industry. This is partly because of the fact that the media can sometimes be selective in what they feature. It is interesting and heartwarming, however, to note that there are people who actually fight for the welfare of the fisherfolk. It is interesting to note that in RA 7941 or the party-list system act, fisherfolk was actually identified as one of the marginalized sectors that should be represented. There is still a lack of attention, however, for this sector.

  2. Being an archipelagic country, it just makes sense that the fishing industry SHOULD be one of the dominant, if not the top economic activity. Our waters are blessed with rich and diverse resources, so we should be maximizing this economic advantage as a fuel to drive economic growth, while of course taking sustainability into account. I really believe that the fishing indutry, along with farming can be viable options for employment if only the government will take the necessary reforms to strengthen this marginalized sector of the economy. And at the end of the day, food security translates to productivity.

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