President Bongbong Marcos announced that the government plans to build cold storage facilities in several fish ports to lower post-harvest losses, increase the nation’s fish supply, and minimize reliance on imports. The announcement was made during the meeting with officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, etc.
The spoiling of fishermen’s catch was one of the issues brought up during the meeting, according to the President, who also acts as the DA secretary. The installation of cold storage facilities in fish ports, according to President Marcos, is a key answer to the problem. In addition to those already being built in various ports in General Santos City and Cagayan de Oro City, 11 additional cold storage facilities are planned. The President expects the cold storage facilities to be operational by the end of 2023.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the current level of fish spoilage is between 25% and 40% as a result of a lack of post-harvest facilities and equipment, including blast freezers and ice makers, as well as cold storage warehouses and fish landing locations. If the country were be able to lower the spoilage of the catch between 8% and 10%, the Philippines would no longer need to import fish.
Further, the President also underscored the need to improve the aquaculture industry in the country by modernizing fishponds. He said this could be achieved by providing the credit needs of and technology for fishermen. Marcos said they are also looking at mariculture to bolster the country’s food security and fish output.
(Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)