More than P6B in fishport funding released

Buckets of fish are sold at the Navotas fish port in this file photo. — PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

THE Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said it has approved the release of P6.037 billion to finance fishport infrastructure improvements.

In a statement on Monday, the DBM said it signed the special allotment release order to support the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority’s (PFDA) Fisheries Infrastructure Development Program.

Budget Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a statement that the development program helps enhance operations at Navotas, Iloilo, Zamboanga, Camaligan, Camarines Sur, Lucena, Sual, Pangasinan, Davao, General Santos, and Bulan, Sorsogon Fish Ports.

The DBM said Congress earmarked P1.1 billion for the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of fishports and other fishery post-harvest facilities.

“Enhancing and maintaining strategic and globally competitive fishports would allow our ships and crews access to essential supplies and services, and for vessel operators to successfully bring in their catches, safeguarding the livelihood of our fishermen,” Ms. Pangandaman said.

The PFDA is an arm of the Department of Agriculture (DA), tasked with building post-harvest infrastructure and other services that streamline the handling and distribution of fish and fishery products.

The fisheries sector accounted for 1.3% of the country’s economic growth in 2023 and around 1.6 million jobs or about 4% of the labor force, according to 2023 data from the World Bank.

Fish and fishery products make up 11.68% of the country’s food intake, according to the DA’s 2022 Philippine Fisheries profile. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz