Press Release
May 30, 2016

Villar welcomes signing of laws creating marine breeding
stations in Mindanao

Sen. Cynthia Villar welcomed the signing into law of the bills establishing marine breeding farms and hatcheries in Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Sultan Kudarat and Agusan del Norte, saying this will boost the production of fisherfolks in Mindanao.

"These laws will really contribute to the growth and development of the fisheries sector and allied industries in these areas. I am optimistic that this will help increase the income of fisherfolks, who together with farmers, remain among the poorest in our country," Villar said.

Villar, chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, defended the passage into law of these local bills at the Senate.

Republic Act 10787 signed on May 3, mandates the establishment of multi-species marine hatchery in Lingig, Surigao del Sur.While RA 10813, signed on May 11, mandates the creation of the same facility for freshwater species in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte.

Villar said for Surigao del Sur, continuing research and experimentation on crabs, shrimps and lobsters is needed to find better ways to improve production of these high-value species.The same facility is also needed for lake, river and other inland fishes in Agusan del Norte.

RA 10825, signed on May 19, establishes multi-species marine hatcheries in Surigao City and Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte. RA 10826 creates a multi-species marine nursery in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat.

Under the law, the facilities will be operated under the supervision of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Department of Agriculture (DA). Within two years after its construction, BFAR will transfer its management to the local government unit.

The Nacionalista Party senator noted that BFAR will provide a training and phasing-in program to local government personnel on the management and operation of the hatchery or nursery.

"We need these laws to achieve sustainable growth and development of the agriculture sector as well as to improve the plight of Filipino farmers and fisherfolks," Villar said.

She added that based on the latest official poverty statistics for basic sectors, fishermen posted the highest poverty incidence for the nine basic sectors in the Philippines at 41.4%, unchanged or the same level as in 2006.

Agriculture contributes over 10 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And fisheries contribute between 15 to 18 per cent to the agriculture sector. The fisheries sector also provides direct and indirect employment to over one million Filipino people.

Similar bills were also submitted for the President's signature seeking the creation of experimental breeding centers and/or mariculture development parks in Cebu, Surigao del Norte, Catanduanes, Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, and Zamboanga del Norte.

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