PHILIPPINES - Agriculture chief Emmanuel Piñol said he is against the creation of a separate fisheries department.
Mr Piñol said that the creation of a new department runs counter to the advocacy of President Rodrigo Duterte for a leaner, less bureaucratic and more effective government and it would entail additional expenditures for government.
He was specifically reacting to the call for both the Congress and Senate to look into the proposal to create a new government department that would separate the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) from the Department of Agriculture, reports ManilaBulletin.
“I believe that the creation of the Department of Fisheries is a knee-jerk reaction to a simple problem of a neglected sector. Besides, if indeed the fisheries sector was neglected, this new administration surely is not to blame,” Mr Piñol said.
“I do not want to sound sarcastic but if every sector in agriculture would be separated simply because it does not receive enough attention and support, then what would stop people later on from proposing the creation of the Department of Vegetables, Department of Animals and Department of Chicken?” he added.
The DA chief said the fisheries sector is now an area of special concern for DA.
He said he already called for the development of fisheries, aquaculture, mariculture and even the seaweed industry and a strong campaign against illegal fishing and the rehabilitation of the seas as sources of fish have been implemented.
“To fully rehabilitate the seas, the DA-BFAR will implement a nationwide three-month closed fishing season to allow the fish to breed and multiply,” Mr Piñol said.
“In order for the fishermen to earn a living during the 3 months that there will be no fishing in his coastal waters, the DA will introduce livelihood projects like hog raising, poultry raising and nursery operations growing mangrove tree seedlings,” he added.
TheFishSite News Desk