Neda approves P11.2-billion FishCoRe Project
MANILA, Philippines — The National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) has approved the P11.2 billion Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project, which aims to address problems in the fishery sector and ensure food security.
The Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) made the announcement on Thursday, saying the NEDA okayed the project during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first meeting with the government’s socio-economic planning body.
The OPS said in a statement that during the meeting, the President projected that there will be more saltwater fish cultivation as a result of overfishing a few decades from now – thus, the timeliness of the FishCoRe program.
“So we have to get into the industry. We’ve been pushing it since we started using fingerlings for the Pangasinan aquaculture. ‘Yung grow-out doon sa amin… after the grow-out, we will send them to Pangasinan,” Marcos said, as quoted by OPS.
“For some reason hindi nagfo-flourish ‘yung aquaculture, hindi na nade-develop. That’s why this is important for me. I think this is where — if not all, it will be part of our food supply. It will give very good income for our fisherfolk,” he added.
According to the OPS, the FishCoRe project was conceptualized to address the problems in the fishery sector, such as declining fish catch, high post-harvest losses, and high poverty incidence among fisherfolk.
It also said that the seven-year investment would support the implementation of reforms in fishery and aquaculture management in the country and help improve the management of the country’s fishery resources and enhance the value of fisheries production in selected fisheries management areas (FMAs).
The OPS noted that project components include supporting the development and implementation of appropriate fisheries management policies, establishing support facilities for rehabilitating coastal and maritime habitats, and improving institutional capacities for strengthened enforcement.
FishCoRe, it added, likewise seeks to establish fisheries infrastructure and facilities and provide livelihood and enterprise development assistance to Filipino fisherfolk.
Of the P11.2 billion total project cost, the OPS said that P9.6 billion will come from the official development assistance (ODA) provided by the World Bank.
The government will shoulder the remaining P660.6 million through the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources while the P1.16 billion will come from private sector partners and beneficiary groups or cooperatives.
The OPS said that some 354,905 registered fisherfolk in 24 provinces with a coastal and marine area of about 32 million hectares are expected to benefit from the project.
The project is also expected to generate 26,877 jobs, it added.
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