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New Ports and Cold Storage Facility to Benefit Fishermen

24 July 2013

PHILIPPINES - In his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA), Monday (22 July), President Benigno Simeon Aquino III announced several initiatives to boost fisherfolks' earnings and uplift their living conditions.

Citing the Municipality of Bataraza, Palawan as example, the President said a cold storage facility will be put up in this town to help the fisherfolks maintain the freshness of their catch and command the right price in the market.

Bataraza, a town about five to six hours away from Puerto Princesa City, is located in the southernmost tip of Mainland Palawan near the municipalities of Rizal and Brookes' Point.

Aside from fishing, people in Bataraza are also into farming.

The President reported that Bataraza is surrounded with water yet its fishermen, just like other fishermen and fisherfolks around the country, could not dictate the right price for their fish because of their inability to keep it fresh.

"Because the fish cannot be brought to the merchants on time, still fresh, the fishermen end up having to dry the fish and sell tuyo instead. It is such a waste, because every three kilos of lapu-lapu is only equivalent to one kilo of tuyo. What if the freshness of the fish could be preserved in a cold storage facility? You could go to the merchant and still sell your catch at full price. That's why Bataraza will have its cold storage facility," said the President.

The President lamented that 41 per cent of fishermen are poor based on statistics in 2009.

Yet, the fishery sector, as reported by the President, contributed Php 193.65-Billion in the economy last year.

To raise productivity and increase incomes of all fisherfolks, the President said government will build more seaports in strategic places as well as improve roads, bridges and other infrastructures.

The President also took the opportunity to ask members of this sector to help conserve their sole source of livelihood by allowing some time for the seas to rest and recover from fishing activities.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government, he added, is working with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to prevent ove rfishing in the seas.

TheFishSite News Desk

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