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Conceptual Framework

This study is generally anchored on the concept of Behavioral Psychology which points

out that human beings actions or behaviors are guided by laws existing in their respective

environment. This belief rests on assumptions that behavior is lawful by which peoples behavior

is entirely affected by their environment and if the laws of behavior are known, it is more likely

that behavior can be controlled ( Recio, Mejico and Aonuevo, 2004).

According to Torell and Salamanca (2002), one way to control the behavior of the people

and make them fully aware of their environment is through community participation. The two

further emphasized that community participation is crucial to the success of any regulatory

program. In this case, there is a higher probability of success when the community, the people, is

involved at the earliest stages of the implementation of any regulatory programs through the

launching of different activities, programs and the like.

However, though behaviors can be controlled by the laws existing in the environment,

increased in the possibility of awareness and strict adherence to the law are still triggered by

some coercion or physical force (punishment) and reinforcements in a form of praise,

recognition, incentives and etc. Hence to achieve this full capacity to control the desirable

peoples behavior, implementers and administrators or leaders entice them with different forms

of incentives. This further support the claims of Watson and Tharp (1985) that there is a

considerable agreement that behavior is at least partially lawful- that the environment in which

people find themselves can substantially alter how they behave. If they discover the laws relating

behavior to the environment, there seems little doubt that their capacity to control behavior

would increase.
This was explicitly supported by Tolmans Latent Learning theory wherein it claims that

human learning and awareness are not exhibited in overt performance until there is an incentive

to do so. Therefore unlike animals, peoples behaviors to learn and become fully aware of their

environment are always enforced by reinforcement or any forms of coercion.

Also, the perspective of Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) on how both environmental and

cognitive factors interact to influence human learning and behavior is helpful in this study.

Theorists of SCT also assert that expectations of future reinforcements and punishments can

have a major impact on the behaviors that people exhibit (Ormrod, 2004).

Behavioral theorist Jean Piaget states that people interact with their environment through

two unchanging processes which he called the functions known as assimilation and

accommodation. In here he stressed the influence of environmental events in the learning

mechanism of human beings where he termed it as the conditioning effect. To Piaget, humans

apparently work harder when incentives are more attractive.

Hence this study adheres to the concept of Behavioral Psychology particularly on

Tolmans Latent Learning Theory and Piagets Conditioning Theory specifically on assimilation

and accommodation; and on the idea of SCT where this perceives the influence of the society,

environment, to the learning behavior of the people.

Based from the theories presented in this paper, they note that awareness and actions of

humans are influenced by the activities conducted in their locality which has relevance to the

concepts stipulated in such law for instance their awareness of the laws existing in the

government are influenced by the concrete/strong implementation of activities conducted relative

to a particular law.
On the other hand, it is also perceived that some variables can influence the awareness

level of the people in regulatory programs like their age, sex, socio-economic status, educational

attainment, sources of income, and trainings attended.

First, the older the person is, it is perceived that he/she has a wider knowledge of what is

happening around him/her. Second, girls tend to be more assertive in terms of knowing the

happenings in their environment are. Third, the poorer the person is the greater is the probability

that they are enticed with incentives. Next, the higher educational attainment of the person has,

he/she is more abreast to knowledge. Lastly, the more training a person had attended will

definitely mean the greater knowledge he/she knows.

With the theories and concepts presented here, this study views that problems on fisheries

sector particularly on illegal fishing activities and exploitation of fishery and aquatic resources

are attributed by the fisherfolks lack of awareness to the existing fishery laws, the punishment

and penalties imposed, which is assumed to be due to the lax implementation of the provisions of

the Philippines Fishery Code of 1998 to be exact. Using the typologies of Social Cognitive

Theory and Behavioral Theories will determine the effect or influence of the existing programs,

projects, and activities of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in increasing the

awareness level of fisherfolk about the R.A. 8550 which stop activities which damage the fishery

and aquatic resources.

The expected relationship of the variables in the study is shown in Figure 1.

Independent Variable Dependent Variable

Programs, Projects, and

Activities (PPAs) of the Level of Awareness of
Bureau of Fisheries and Fisherfolk and Extent of
Aquatic Resources with Implementation of R.A. 8550
relevance to the provisions
stipulated in the Philippines
Fisheries Code (R.A. 8550)

Philippine National
Aquasilviculture Program
Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources Management Profile of the respondents as to:
Farmers and Fisherfolk
Month Celebration
Activities socio-economic status
Illegal, Unreported, highest educational
Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) attainment
fishery-related trainings

Figure 1. The conceptual model of the study.