Socioeconomic Conditions of Coastal Communities Along Albay Gulf, Bicol Region, Philippines
Keywords:Albay Gulf, alternative livelihood, fishing households, poverty
The study sought to provide information on the socioeconomic condition of fishing households along Albay Gulf. There were 83 coastal barangays and 401 sample households covered in the seven selected municipalities of the Bicol Region, Eastern Philippines. Results revealed that fishing households in Albay Gulf are facing several challenges that push them to abject poverty. Lack of access to alternative livelihood was evidenced by a small percentage of households engaged in entrepreneurial activities (2%–9%) and a high percentage of fisheries dependence (94%). Community participation was also low in Coastal Resources Management (19%), as reflected by the few households that reported the existing people’s organizations in their area. Under such conditions, it is imperative to find the balance between the welfare of the fishing households and sustainable use of coastal resources. Therefore, policy options should focus on addressing the livelihood issues of fishing communities that aim to reduce their vulnerability to income shocks and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. To do this, the paper recommends income diversification, livelihood opportunities, capability building, and comprehensive information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns.