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NEDA bares approval of P11.2-billion project for fisheries

The National Economic Development Board (NEDA) announced Thursday the approval of the P11.2 billion Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) project, which aims to solve problems in the fishery sector and ensure food security.

The project was approved during President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s meeting with the NEDA board earlier in the day.

Marcos, who sits as Agriculture chair, said it is projected that a few decades from now, there will be more saltwater fish cultivation due to 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 added.

According to the Palace, 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.

It said the seven-year investment would support the implementation of reforms in fishery and aquaculture management in the country 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.

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), according to the Palace.

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 said project.

Other projects

Meanwhile, the NEDA Board also approved guidelines on processing Public-Private Partnership (PPP) proposals.

"The new procedures aim to harmonize the review and approval of the NEDA Board and the ICC, including the preparation and submission of government agencies of PPP projects with the joint evaluation of the NEDA Secretariat, the PPP Center, and the Department of Finance," NEDA chief Arsenio Balisacan said in a separate briefing.

"The guidelines also include the updated list of documentary requirements for solicited and unsolicited PPP proposals," Balisacan added.

Balisacan said the the request of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) for utilization of savings, change in scope, and loan validity extension for the Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project (MSCIP) Phase I, as well as its request for 19-month loan validity extension for the New Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) systems development project, was also approved.

For the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the NEDA Board agreed to the request of a 12-month extension on both the implementation period and the validity of the loan for the Samar Pacific Coastal Road Project (SPCRP), and the request for change in scope of works, increase in cost, and reallocation of contingency cost to civil works category for Integrated Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation (IDRR-CCA) Measures in Low-Lying Areas of Pampanga Bay project. 

Further, the Board approved the request for change in scope for the Philippine Competition Commission’s (PCC) Capacity Building to Foster Competition Project. —NB, GMA Integrated News