A recently concluded week-long orientation and contract signing of new scholars under the BFAR Bikol Fisheries Scholarship Program (FSP) was conducted, marking an important milestone in the scholars’ journey. The event was held from June 19 to 23, 2023, in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate, respectively.

For Bicol, a total of 26 new scholars are granted scholarship under the three components: 3 scholars under the Fisheries Industry Leaders Grant (FILG), 3 under the Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (FSP-ICCs/IPs) and 20 under the Fisherfolk Children Educational Grant (FCEG) who will pursue a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries for the academic year 2023-2027.

Scholarship privileges include monthly stipend, book allowance, thesis support, OJT support and graduation support among others.

The four-year scholarship aims to aid students in their pursuit of higher education and develop expertise in the field of fisheries. During the Orientation and Contract Signing, scholars and their parents were provided with essential information regarding the program. The expectations, goals, guidelines and responsibilities of scholars, parents, and the bureau were presented, emphasizing the importance of everyone’s commitment and support throughout the students’ academic journey.

“I am truly grateful that my son got this scholarship because we are financially disadvantaged. Sending him to college would be quite a challenge. He would need to work to be able to study because we could not afford it. But because of this scholarship, he will be able to pursue higher education, and we are extremely proud of him. We also promise, as his parents, to give him our full support.” Edna Narido, a parent of one of the newly awarded scholars, remarked.

BFAR Bikol Regional Director, RD Ariel U. Pioquinto, led the contract signing. “The BFAR-FSP’s commitment to nurturing young talents from the Bicol Region demonstrates its dedication to sustainable development and responsible management of aquatic resources. These scholars, with their passion and the support of their families, are poised to contribute significantly to the advancement of the fisheries sector by becoming future leaders, movers or entrepreneurs. “ RD Ariel said in his message.

To date, BFAR 5 has 84 ongoing scholars enrolled in various partner State Universities and Colleges, 5 has recently graduated and 10 will be graduating this July.