Globe Celebrates Fisherfolk, Empowers Fishing Industry through Technology
Estela Atienza has been working in the fisheries industry for over 20 years now. In her career, she has held positions at the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Currently, she serves as a Fisheries Technician, managing the Community Fish Landing Center in Sariaya, Quezon, one of Globe’s partner communities for the ISDApp program.
The fisheries sector plays an integral role in the country's food security and economy, contributing about 1.5 percent to the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product. During the pandemic, agriculture and fisheries have also kept the economy afloat.
Globe recognizes that fishing communities endure so much—risking their lives daily at sea, and staying resilient amid changing weather conditions and other challenges.
“The local fishing sector plays a vital role in our country’s economy. It is a key source of jobs and a major contributor to our country’s food industry. Through the ISDApp program, we do our best in supporting them, as they have supported us,” said Yoly Crisanto, Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer at Globe.
As someone who has been working with the local fishermen in Sariaya, Quezon for several years, Atienza shared that she believes strong collaboration with the local community is what will drive success and elevate the conditions of Filipino fisherfolk.
“Kilala ko ang mangingisda dito—minsan ‘yung iba galing pa sa malalayong lugar. Alam ko ang kanilang mga problema kaya hinahanapan ko ng solusyon. Malaking tulong ang nadadala ng aming Fish Landing Center sa mga kabuhayan ng mga mangingisda dito,” she said.
Globe supports innovation, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. With its collective efforts with BFAR and NFRDI, Globe aims to enable the sector through a technology-based solution called ISDApp. The app was developed in collaboration with iNON IT Solutions, and provides accessible weather alerts via SMS.
ISDApp is the first community app in the Philippines that aids fisherfolk with the power of data, even if they do not have smartphones and Internet connection. It communicates weather information and helps improve the fisherfolk’s understanding of the environment they work in.
Atienza shared, “May mga mangingisda na mas advanced na, gumagamit na sila ng mga apps for weather information. Pero hindi naman lahat nagmamay-ari ng smartphones. Para sa mga small scale na fisherfolk na analog phones lang ang gamit, nakakatulong ang ISDApp.”
ISDApp converts collected localized weather data into simplified weather forecasts and sends them to the registered mobile numbers. Since it uses text messaging, members can receive timely weather alerts even without a smartphone.
The app is an effective way to share weather forecasts for fishing safety. It serves as an early warning system so that fisherfolk can conduct self-monitoring to decide whether or not they will push through with their fishing activities for the day.
Atienza has dedicated her whole career to improving the working conditions of local fisherfolk. She devotes time on-ground to see first-hand and tend to the needs of the community.
“When we talk about technology, we may tend to focus on the most advanced solutions, but sometimes existing technology and simple solutions provide the most impact. SMS might not be used as often as data nowadays, but it is still the most accessible form of support we can give to our fishermen. We are very happy to have ISDApp to help in the safety of our fisherfolk," said Atienza.
Globe has been advocating for the use of technology to find solutions to the most pressing issues of its stakeholders. The company supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 14, which promotes the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas, and marine resources.
It’s top mobile wallet GCash has also taken steps to accelerate the digital transformation of the fisheries sector, joining forces with Rare Philippines to empower the financial capabilities of the fisherfolk community in Sipaway Island in Negros Occidental.
Rare Philippines is an international conservation organization that helps communities adopt sustainable behaviors toward their natural environment and resources.
To know more about Globe’s sustainability efforts, visit www.globe.com.ph/about-us/sustainability.