Financing small-scale fisheries in the Philippines
This policy brief summarizes the findings of surveys among financial and insurance providers, fishers and fisherfolk organizations in the Philippines in 2021. It explains why financial services are important for small-scale fishers (SSF) and provides recommendations for improving their access to finance and insurance.
SSF make an important contribution to food security and the rural economy. The average income of most SSF is below the poverty line of USD 2 500/year. For economic growth and sustainable fishing operations SSF need access to financial and insurance services. Less than 50 percent of the SSF have access to financial services. Only 30 percent of SSF have a savings account at a bank. Many financial and insurance service providers in the Philippines are willing to provide their services to SSF. However, financial institutions find it hard to supply credit to SSF, because of the seasonality of the fishing business, lack of insurance of fishing vessels, and limited technical knowledge about fisheries within their institutions. Digital finance tools are required to deliver credit more efficiently to SSF. Fisheries organizations and financial institutions have a joint interest to increase financial literacy, and enhance business planning and record keeping skills of SSF.