Recto questions BFAR budget cut amid rising fish prices
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto questioned the lower proposed budget allocation to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) amid the soaring fuel and fish prices.
“Yung sa BFAR from P7.3 billion in 2017, to P6.2 billion this year, to P5.8 billion next year. Bakit sinasabayan ang pagbagsak ng huli ng pagbaba ng budget?” Recto asked as he filed a resolution on Thursday seeking a Senate probe on the current state of fisheries.
Recto said there is an urgency to look into the issue of rising fish prices for the sake of consumers, and the dwindling catch to help fishermen.
“It is imperative upon Congress to help create policies which ensure that our fisher folk are able to maximize fishing opportunities while ensuring the sustainability of fisheries and fishing communities,” he said.
In his Senate Resolution 827, Recto said it must be studied how “decreasing budget for fisheries, rising gas prices, the fishermen’s inability to fish in large swaths of the West Philippine Sea, and climate change have pushed up fish prices and brought down catch.”
The government said that inflation in fish prices hit 12% in the first quarter of 2018 from only 5% in the same period in 2017.
Recto attributed this to the rising prices of fuel and the inability of fishermen to fish into the West Philippine Sea.
Compounding this are the “triple threats of climate change, pollution and the West Philippine Sea problem,” Recto said. /je
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