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Marcos wants more cold storage facilities to avoid spoilage of fisherfolks' catch

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said the government would be putting up several cold storage facilities in various fish ports to address the spoilage of the fishermen’s catch. 

“So we decided that one of the areas that was identified was the spoilage of the fish doon sa handling from galing sa bangka, galing sa fishing boat, hanggang sa bagsakan, hanggang sa palengke napakalaki ang nagiging spoilage,” Marcos said.

“At ang naging solusyon diyan ay maglagay ng cold storage facilities doon sa mga bagsakan ng isda para ma-preserve naman ‘yung isda at hindi natin kailangan itapon ang maraming nasisira, napapanis na isda,” he added.

(The solution there is to establish cold storage facilities to preserve the fish and avoid their spoilage.)

The President said the plan is to construct 11 more cold storage facilities on top of those already being constructed at various ports in the cities of General Santos and Cagayan de Oro. He said he expects the cold storage facilities to be operational by the end of 2023.

Marcos also directed the prioritization of fish ports construction in 11 coastal provinces to capacitate and empower fisherfolks towards resiliency and  decrease post-harvest losses.

The chief executive made the order during his meeting with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in which the latter presented the challenges of fish supply and demand for fiscal year 2023.

The Presidential Communications Office said Marcos' order would "capacitate and empower fisherfolks towards resiliency, decrease post-harvest losses through upgrading/fixing/construction of cold storage facilities in fish posts across the country, provision of ice and ice making machines for small-scale fisherfolks, provide intensive training, distribute equipment to bring down post-harvest losses, and rehabilitation of 20 identified municipal fish ports that are traditional landing ports, among other priority matters."

Among the challenges of the fishery sector include declining fish catch, high poverty incidence and post-harvest losses (currently at 25%-40% losses along the value chain).

The BFAR also presented strategies to increase fish production through aquaculture at 10% annually in six years to contribute to food security while easing out pressure from capture fisheries and enable resources to recover.—AOL, GMA Integrated News