Mlacañang said on Saturday that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. fully backs the P11.2-billion Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) project seen to benefit the country’s “poorest of the poor.”
Press Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, in a statement, said the President, who is also Secretary of Agriculture, has expressed confidence the FishCoRe project would help the government address the problems confronting the fishery sector.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on Thursday approved the FishCoRe project envisioned to provide a sustainable source of income for some 354,90 registered fishermen in 24 provinces with coastal and marine areas of about 32 million hectares.
The project was expected to provide 26,877 jobs and help the government realize its goal of ensuring food security through “improved aquaculture production, increased fish stocks, provision of diversified livelihood opportunities and higher incomes for fisherfolk,” Garafil said.
“President Marcos fully backs the FishCoRe project and he made this known during his first meeting with NEDA officials in Malacañang last Thursday,” she said.
During his meeting with NEDA officials, the Chief Executive lauded the timely approval of the fishery project, saying it was projected that there will be more saltwater fish cultivation to counter overfishing a few decades from now.
Marcos also emphasized the importance of the project to boost the income of Filipino fishermen.
“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,” Mr. Marcos pointed out.
Under the FishCoRe project, the government will establish fishery infrastructures and facilities, as well as provide livelihood and enterprise development assistance to Filipino fishermen.
FishCoRe’s project components include supporting the development and implementation of appropriate fisheries management policies, establishing support facilities for the rehabilitation of coastal and maritime habitats, and improving institutional capacities for strengthened enforcement.
About P9.6 billion of the total P11.2 billion project cost will be sourced from the official development assistance provided by the World Bank.
The Agriculture Department’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will shoulder about P660.6 million, while the private sector partners and beneficiary groups or cooperatives will provide the remaining P1.16 billion for the implementation of the project, expected to be completed in seven years.
The project will also complement the implementation of reforms in fishery and aquaculture management in the Philippines aimed at improving the management of the country’s fishery resources and enhancing the value of fisheries production in selected fisheries management areas.