No fish hatchery after 5 years? Villar hits BFAR underperformance
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Cynthia Villar on Friday fumed over the P17-billion budget proposal of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) next year.
Villar lamented that Congress has legislated 37 fish hatcheries but not one has been completed yet by BFAR since 2016.
“Wala silang nagawa miski isa, after six years, almost more than five years. Wala pa silang nagagawa at sinasabi nila sakin matatapos daw after their term. My God, what is that?” she said during the Senate subcommittee on finance’s hearing on the 2022 budget of the Department of Agriculture.
(They did not build at least one [hatchery], after almost six years or more than five years. They have not done anything and they are saying they can do it after their term. My God, what is that?)
BFAR, an agency under DA, is seeking a P17.9 billion budget for 2022 — a huge increase from its current P4.8 billion allocation.
But Villar, who was presiding over the hearing, rejected giving BFAR more budget next year.
“Pano ba naman yang BFAR na yan, naglagay kami ng legislated, pinasa pa namin sa Senado, sa kongreso miski isa wala silang binuild during their five years. Bakit kami matutuwa sa inyo? Binabastos nyo kami e,” she said.
(We passed a law in Congress but they could not build even one during their five years. Why would we be happy with you? You are disrespecting us.)
“Pinaghirapan naming ipasa yun e walang nagawa miski isa?” the senator added.
(We worked hard to pass it but you could not establish at least one?)
Villar said the hatcheries would have only cost the government P20 million each or a total of P700 million.
“E bakit limang taon wala silang nagawa tapos sasabihin nila bibigyan ko ng budget na P17 billion? Saan nila dadalhin yun? Wala silang performance…”
She said she was told that only one of 37 hatcheries could be done by May 2022.
“Napahiya ako e kasi ako ang chairman, hindi nila inintindi na we legislated it,” Villar, who also heads the Senate committee on agriculture, went on.
(I was embarrassed because I’m the chairman, they didn’t care that we legislated it.)
“It’s a requirement and mura lang yun. Bakit naman binastos na maski isa walang tinayo. During our term, six-year term , isa daw matatapos. Tama ba yun?”
(It’s a requirement and it’s cheap. Why are they disrespecting us that they didn’t build at least one. During our six-year term, they can only complete one. Is that right?)
BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona clarified they could finish five fish hatcheries by the end of the year and 23 more in 2022.
Villar insisted that this was not the report she received this Friday morning.
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