LINGAYEN – The Department of Agriculture (DA) will allocate P25 million rehabilitation funds for fish cage operators in Pangasinan specifically in the typhoon ravaged towns of Bolinao and Anda where cyclone “Emong” made its landfall.
The announcement was made by Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap in a meeting with Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. and Bolinao Mayor Alfonso F. Celeste last Saturday, May 16, as they discussed the need to fast track the rehabilitation project to avoid shortage and increase of fish prices.
According to Yap, growing bangus to marketable size requires at least six to seven months and so the need to address the issues of food security and the livelihood of the affected marginal fish cage operators associations to restore the supply lines of bangus to Metro Manila markets since Bolinao and Anda, and nearby areas supplies 120 metric tons of bangus. Due to typhoon damages, the supply to Manila will be short by 80 tons.
Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr., thanked the national government for immediately responding to the needs of the affected marginal fisherfolks stressing that an immediate identification of fisherfolk beneficiaries under a selection criteria set by the DA will be done to fast track the rehabilitation project.
The DA will assist in the repair and rehabilitation of the damaged fish cages in accordance with the guidelines in identifying the fisherfolk-beneficiaries.
Fish operators in Pangasinan and La union incurred losses estimated around P500 million or 6,000 metric tons which is 3.7 percent of the regional annual production target of fish stocks for this year. (PIO/Ruby R. Bernardino)