Aquaculture Committee Okays 13 Bills

The House Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources has approved for plenary debate several measures that aim to enhance the country's aquaculture industry.

Rep. Benhur L. Salimbangon (4th District, Cebu) said the bills establish fisheries and aquatic resources centers, seaweed processing plants and Mariculture Development Parks in different provinces and municipalities nationwide.

"It is high time that the government move for the establishment of these centers, plants and research facilities to be able to preserve an ideal aquatic ecosystem which contributes a big portion to food security of the country," Salimbangon said.

The Mariculture parks, fisheries and aquatic center and seaweed processing plants will also benefit the provinces and municipalities economically, Salimbangon added.

The bills approved by the House panel are authored by Reps. Augusto Syjuco (2nd District, Iloilo), Francisco T. Matugas (1st District, Surigao del Norte), Antonio A. Del Rosario (1st District, Capiz), Nur Ana I. Sahidulla (2nd District, Sulu), Tupay Loong (1st District Sulu), Nur Jaafar (Lone District, Tawi-Tawi), Emil L. Ong (2nd District, Northern Samar), Arnulfo Go (2nd District, Sultan Kudarat), Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes) and Salimbangon.

HBs 0811, 2659 and 3156 provide for the establishment of fisheries and aquatic resources centers in Iloilo, Capiz, and Sultan Kudarat while House Bills 1169 and 3207 call for the establishment of research stations for breeding and/or hatchery for grouper, prawn, lobster, crab and other high-value marine species in several municipalities in Surigao Del Norte and Cebu.

HBs 3082 and 2778 seek the establishment of seaweed processing plants in the Southern Philippines, HBs 3123, 3124 and 3208 mandate the construction of fish ports in the Municipality of Gamay and San Roque in Northern Samar and in the municipalities of San Remigio in Cebu, to be funded and supervised by the Department of Agriculture thru the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority.

HBs 3125, 3449 and 3165 seek to establish mariculture development parks in the municipalities of Laoang, Palapag, Mapanas, Gamay and Lapinig in Northern Samar, and the municipalities of Virac, Bato, Baras, Gigmoto, Viga, Panganiban, Bagamanoc, San Andres, Caramoran and Pandan in Catanduanes and in the municipalities of Languyan, Tandubas, South Ubian and Sapa-Sapa in Tawi Tawi.

"Fisheries and aquatic resources centers shall set the directions, objectives, and the operations of many fishing activities; engage in technology, research and development in the field of fishery and streamline all concerns to preserve and propagate aquatic and marine resources to benefit sectors involved in fish production," Syjuco said.

Writer: Salvacion T. Beleo, MRS-PRIB