Fishpond operators owe gov’t P312M, COA finds | Inquirer News

Fishpond operators owe gov’t P312M, COA finds

/ 02:31 AM August 14, 2011

Fishpond operators owe the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) over P312 million in fishpond rentals that the agency has failed to collect, according to the Commission on Audit.

The COA said the amount had accumulated over the years despite the matter being brought to the bureau’s attention.

This has deprived the government of revenue, it added.


Rent is collected from fishpond operators who are allowed to lease public lands to develop fishponds.


Failure to pay annual rental fees and surcharges for two consecutive years, without a justifiable reason, would lead to termination of a lease.

In its 2010 report on the BFAR, the COA said the bureau was able to collect only P51.228 million of the P361.144 million in rentals, arrears and surcharges due, leaving a balance of P312.36 million.

One of the reasons given for the low collection rate was the lack of action on the request of some fishpond operators to have their surcharges and penalties condoned. With their requests pending, they did not make payments.

Another reason was the slow processing of renewal applications for expired fishpond lease agreements. Lessees whose licenses had been canceled also continued to occupy leased areas but no longer paid rent.

Some fishponds were unproductive and their operators were not making any money. A lack of BFAR personnel to monitor, inspect and issue demand letters to delinquent leaseholders also contributed to the problem.

The COA said that to remedy the situation, the BFAR should create a committee that would issue demand letters and come up with strategies to improve collection.


It should also strictly implement the prescribed penalties for late leaseholders and cancel the licenses of delinquent ones.

The COA said the committee should also review and amend the Fisheries Office Order relevant to fishpond lease agreements.

The BFAR, for its part, told the COA that it would conduct an inventory of its fishpond lease agreements to come up with a better estimate of the amount due and that it would see to it that rent collection improved.

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It said it had been regularly issuing demand letters and had canceled agreements on grounds other than failure to pay rent.

TAGS: BFAR, COA, Government

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