BFAR putting up 50 municipal portsBy Ronnel W. Domingo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has set a target of putting up over the next three years at least 50 municipal port projects all over the country.
BFAR Director Asis G. Perez said in an interview that the projects were meant to address the imbalance in government support, which had been going mostly to production.
“These ports will represent support in post-production, which is also very important,” Perez said.
He explained that the greater government outlay in post-production should be seen in infrastructure such as ports, cold storage and ice plants.
“We want a minimum of 50 ports and we hope to have them started by 2015,” Perez said. “
The BFAR chief said that a municipal port was estimated to cost an average of P30 million while an integrated port—one with a cold storage component—could cost hundreds of millions of pesos.
One such integrated port is the planned facility for Real, Quezon, for which BFAR has secured an initial funding of P50 million from the Department of Budget and Management. The total cost of the project was placed at between P300 million and P400 million.
Further, Perez said BFAR had earmarked P15 million for the formulation of a feasibility study for a comprehensive fish port development program.
“It’s best to have a comprehensive program than to think up projects on a yearly basis,” he said.
According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics, total fisheries production in the first quarter grew by 5.6 percent year-on-year.
By sector, commercial fisheries showed the biggest output growth at 18.67 percent, attributed to gains in yellowfin tuna and skipjack following the lifting of the ban on tuna harvesting in the Philippines.
Municipal fisheries posted a 0.2-percent growth, helped by the double-digit increases in the harvests of roundscad, blue crab and bali sardines.