President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is hopeful that the P11.2 billion Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project aimed at addressing problems in the fishery sector will give a "very good income" to Filipino fisherfolk.
This came as Marcos met with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday, Nov. 24, that also led to the approval of the FishCore project, which also aims to reduce poverty incidence and ensure food security.
During the meeting, the President noted the timeliness of the initiative as it is projected that a few decades from now, there will be more saltwater fish cultivation due to overfishing.
"So we have to get into the industry. We've been pushing it since we started using fingerlings to the Pangasinan aquaculture. Yung grow-out doon sa amin (The grow out there)... after the grow-out, we will send them to Pangasinan," Marcos said.
"For some reason hindi nagfo-flourish yung aquaculture (does flourish), hindi na nade-develop (does not 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.
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 is a seven-year investment that will support the implementation of reforms in fishery and aquaculture management in the Philippines. It is intended to improve the management of the country's fishery resources and enhancing the value of fisheries production in selected fisheries management areas.
FishCoRe also 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, P9.6 billion will come from the official development assistance (ODA) provided by the World Bank (WB).
The remaining P660.6 million will be shouldered by the government through the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), while the P1.16 billion will come from private sector partners and beneficiary groups or cooperatives.
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. It is also expected to created 26,877 jobs.