QUEZON CITY, June 2, 2023 – With the aim of amplifying stories of development in the fisheries sector, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Special Area for Agricultural Development (BFAR-SAAD) Program Phase 2 communications unit convened for the first time to discuss its preliminary directions, linkages, and training on press release writing and photojournalism.
On May 24 to 26, the workshop laid down concepts on effective communication, hence forwarding the mission of localizing development approaches in the most marginalized communities through SAAD’s fisheries-related livelihood assistance. The activity was participated by the BFAR-SAAD National Program Management Support Office (NPMSO) staff, and the Public Relations and Development Communication (PRDC) Unit regional information officers from the 15 regions covered for Phase 2.
The three-day training focused on press release writing, photojournalism, and development communication and was attended by a total of 50 participants. Said topics should enhance the skills set of communicators in the efforts of humanizing the stories from the field, such as the struggles and impact of the interventions on the fisherfolk in rural areas.
Nazario Briguera, Chief of BFAR Information and Fisherfolk Coordination Unit (IFCU) gave the introductory message underlining the importance of public relations and development communications in achieving the SAAD’s goals. According to Chief Briguera, development communication serves as a vital tool in informing the beneficiaries about the program’s long-term goal anchored to its last core component which is enterprise development and marketing assistance. Public relations, on the other hand, is critical in gaining trust and building cross-functional collaboration with the program partners and stakeholders.
SAAD Program Director Ulysses J. Lustria Jr. also delivered an inspiring message to motivate the learners. He presented the fishery sector’s accomplishments over the course of its Phase 1 implementation and acknowledged the role played by the information unit in the program’s transition from Phase 1 to Phase 2.
Acuris-Policy and Regulatory Report (PaRR) reporter and media practitioner James Konstantin Galvez served as the resource speaker for press release writing, prescribing basic structure, format, requirements, best practices, intention, and tone in crafting the narratives of the community.
Further, Mr. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN Corporation’s news photographer tackled the fundamental elements of visual literacy, basic principles of photography, and accessing available tools to capture and enhance storytelling through images. This aims to capture compelling images of SAAD’s significant activities in the fishery sector.
Tapping on the development facet of the PRDC Unit, Ms. Myleen Herrera from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) discussed the principles, and components of development communication. She identified concepts that might be used in crafting stories urging the participants to be communicators who promote community change.
The completion of this training reflects BFAR-SAAD’s commitment to forwarding the narratives of the program’s main actors of development. With the said refresher workshop, BFAR-SAAD can now maintain stronger connections with stakeholders, promote transparency, and ultimately drive the success of the SAAD Program through information and communication.
Finally, Ms. Elymi Ar-J S. Tuñacao, BFAR-SAAD National Focal Person concludes the activity by expressing her gratitude to all the learners and resource speakers. She noted that this training marked the program’s first step into communications-focused capacity-building activities in the future and utilizing strong information and communication to advance the welfare and development of SAAD fisherfolk and their communities. ###
Writer: Marc Santos, BFAR-SAAD NPMSO Information Officer