PHILIPPINES - President Benigno S. Aquino III inaugurated a fish port terminal and a cold storage facility that aims to boost economic activities and alleviate poverty in Camarines Sur province.
The P50-million Sabang Fish Port Development Project aims to develop a new facility that will serve as the main catalyst of fishing and other agricultural industries in the municipalities along San Miguel Bay.
Implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications, the project covers the construction of a fish port in a reclaimed area, along with a terminal shed and comfort rooms.
The project is expected to benefit local fishermen, fish brokers, construction suppliers, and the local population.
On the other hand, the Sabang, Calabanga Fishport Cold Storage Facility, which was completed last February, was built to boost government initiatives in spurring economic activities to resolve poverty.
According to the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, the P46.3-million project is expected to benefit more than 1,000 fishermen in Calabanga and help fish traders and the local community.
A 2013 feasibility study in Calabanga showed that there are 1,271 fishing bancas in the municipality, including 19 commercial fishing vessels, 724 motorized and 52 non-motorized fishing vessels.
The study also showed that there are 14 hectares of freshwater fishponds, with a total production of about .08 metric ton a day.
Fishing activities in the area yields an estimated 14.6 metric tons of fish a day. Of the entire volume of fish catch, about 99 per cent comes from marine fisheries and 1 per cent from aquaculture fisheries.
Some 90 per cent, or 12.3 metric tons a day of the total volume produced, are unloaded in Calabanga while fish trading is conducted along the road.
The construction of the fish port and cold storage facility in Calabanga will address numerous problems in fish handling and distribution, as well as improve fish quality.
With the cold storage facility, fishermen can command better prices for their catch and not live at the mercy of middlemen and unscrupulous traders, President Aquino said in a brief speech during the event.
The President however called on the people to work together to maintain the fish port and cold storage so the facilities could be expanded in the future.
Crabs, which are among Calabanga’s major products, could be processed in the municipality and this would create more jobs, he said.
The President also expressed his gratitude to the people for giving him the opportunity to serve them.
TheFishSite News Desk