Filipino fisherfolk are expected to receive “good” income after the approval of a project that would increase the resilience of ecosystems and communities in fisheries management areas, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said Thursday.
Marcos made this remark after the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) approved the PHP11.2 billion Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project that is expected to address problems in the fishery sector, reduce poverty incidence, and ensure food security.
“For some reason hindi nagfo-flourish ‘yung aquaculture, hindi na nade-develop (aquaculture does not flourish. It is not developed). That’s why this is important for me. I think this is where – if not all, it will be part of our food supply. It will give very good income for our fisherfolk,” he said in a meeting with NEDA officials.
Marcos, who also heads the Department of Agriculture, described the project as “timely”, noting that studies show that there would be more saltwater fish cultivation as a result of overfishing a few decades from now.
“We have to get into the industry. We’ve been pushing it since we started using fingerlings to the Pangasinan aquaculture,” he added.
The FishCoRe Project aims to address problems in the fishery sector, such as declining fish catch, high post-harvest losses, and high poverty incidence among fisherfolk.
Under the project, the government will establish fisheries infrastructure and facilities and provide livelihood and enterprise development assistance to Filipino fisherfolk.
Project components include supporting the development and implementation of appropriate fisheries management policies, establishing support facilities for the rehabilitation of coastal and maritime habitats, and improving institutional capacities for strengthened enforcement.
Of the PHP11.2 billion total project cost, PHP9.6 billion will come from the official development assistance of the World Bank.
The remaining PHP660.6 million will be shouldered by the government through the Department of Agriculture -Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources while the PHP1.16 billion will come from private sector partners and beneficiary groups or cooperatives.
About 354,905 registered fisherfolk in 24 provinces with a coastal and marine area of about 32 million hectares are expected to benefit from the project with the potential to create 26,877 jobs.
It will also contribute to efforts to ensure food security and resiliency through improved aquaculture production, increased fish stocks, provision of diversified livelihood opportunities, and higher incomes for fisherfolk. (PNA)