MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr has approved a P11.2 billion project backed by the World Bank for the country's fisheries sector amid declining fish catch and other issues, officials said Thursday.
This developed following Marcos, Jr's inaugural meeting with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board earlier in the day, based on Malacañang's statement.
The Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe), which will run for 7 years, is seen to help reduce poverty and ensure food security through improved aquaculture production, modernization and technical support to fisherfolk.
"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.
"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."
He added that there will be similar projects "a few decades from now," as the country would most likely be engaged in more saltwater fish cultivation because of overfishing.
Aside from receiving technical support and modern infrastructure from this project, the beneficiaries will also get livelihood and development assistance.
Nearly 355,000 fisherfolk in 24 marine and coastal areas will benefit from this, said the Palace. FishCoRe is also expected to provide nearly 27,000 jobs.
A huge chunk or P9.6 billion of the P11.2 billion came from the World Bank's development assistance, while some P660.6 million came from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR).
A total of P1.16 billion, meanwhile, will come from the private sector.