An official of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has pushed for “blue economy” as a program to help alleviate poverty in the region.

Myra M. Alih, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – ARMM secretary, said that “blue economy includes the utilization of the potentials of the ocean or vast bodies of water to mitigate poverty.”

She noted that the autonomous Muslim region has the distinction of having a high poverty incidence in the country brought about by its problems on peace and order.

Alih said that ARMM needs the support of the national government, particularly in developing the region’s fisheries sector, to alleviate poverty in the area.

She said that ARMM has vast oceans, making the region the leading producer of seaweeds in the country.

Alih also said the backbone of the Sardines industry in Zamboanga peninsula is the Sulu archipelago, where the fishes are mostly caught.

Alih is one of the participants in the ongoing Mindanao Regional Scientific Meeting that kicked off on Monday at the SMX Convention Center.

The meeting of scientists and researchers aims to come up with a recommendation for the development of the fisheries and aquatic resources sector in the southern Philippines.(PNA) LAP/BS/LCM/AF/LDP