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P11.2B FishCoRe project aimed at addressing food security in fishery sector approved

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. Photo courtesy Benison Media

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has approved the P11.2 billion Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project aimed at addressing the problems in the fishery sector, reducing poverty incidence and ensuring food security.

NEDA approved the project as President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr held his first meeting with the government’s socio-economic planning body Thursday.

During the meeting, the President said it is projected that a few decades from now, there will be more saltwater fish cultivation as a result of overfishing, noting the timeliness of the project.

“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… after the grow-out, we will send them to Pangasinan,” Marcos said.

“For some reason hindi nagfo-flourish ‘yung aquaculture, hindi na nade-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,” Marcos pointed out.

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.

The seven-year investment will support 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 (FMAs).

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.

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.

Aside from the 26,877 jobs that could be created, the project proponents expect the FishCoRe Project to contribute to the administration’s thrust of ensuring food security and resiliency through improved aquaculture production, increased fish stocks, provision of diversified livelihood opportunities, and higher incomes for fisherfolk. 

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