FisherFolk Development Center
The conception, birth and evolution of FIDEC cannot be separated from the annals of the fisherfolk movement in the Visayas itself. Prior to 1986, there were already initiatives by the fishermen to organize or form asso- ciations in response to intensifying militari- zation and aggravating economic depres- sion. However, most of these initiatives have been isolated from each other and had not been given a mass movement char- acter in the regional level. The Fishermen Development Center (FIDEC) was conceived and organized in 1986 with the primary role of assisting in the organizing process and alliance formation of fishing communities in the Visayas.
For the provinces that composed the region, namely Cebu, Bohol, and Negros Oriental, fishing is the number two employer next to farming with more than 200,000 directly involved, and a population highly dependent on marine fisheries as source of animal protein. Government data suggests that Central Visayas itself is an important fishing ground supplying marine products all over the Philippines. So in 1995, the name and territorial scope was changed from FIDEC it is now referred to as the Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center, Inc.
FIDEC, Inc. played an important role in stopping an offshore oil and gas mining project in Tanon Strait pursued by the Japan Petroleum Exploration Inc. and putting-up of decisive action against the Korean Electric Power Company through peaceful community mobilization, court cases, petitions, local and international lobbying, networking and media work.
FIDEC, Inc. is currently active in engaging another offshore mining project in Southeast Cebu pursued by NorAsian Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Otto Energy Limited. FIDEC, Inc is also working with local government units in shaping public opinion in advocating local action in mitigating the effects of climate change and assisting in developing concepts and initiatives for renewable and sustainable lifestyle.
• The filing of the Twin Supreme Court Petition pioneered a landmark Supreme Court litigation involving toothed marine mammals and fisherfolks as petitioners against the oil exploration in Tañon Strait to challenge the current concepts on legal standing and change in policy framework.
• The School for the Environment is a people-centered and participatory approach module designed to capacitate the youth, professionals, teachers and stakeholders promotion of the environmental protection, analyze specific environmental problems that directly and indirectly impact on their community and personal lives, propose actions that mitigate or prevent negative impacts of development interventions and other human activities to the environment, and apply people-centered approaches in studying and acting upon environmental problems.
• The campaign against coal-fired power plants in Cebu broadened the anti-coal Sentiments among environmental groups, schools and international networks. The discourse against coal- fired power plants did not limit itself on what is legal but on the level of climate change also. of how Central Visayas, and the rest of the country should shift its focus in developing less carbon intensive energy resource.