Senator Cynthia Villar moved for the passage of 14 bills seeking the creation of multi-species marine hatcheries in the provinces.
Villar, chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture and Food, said these measures will contribute to the growth and development of the fisheries sector and allied industries in the respective cities and municipalities.
“As you know, the goal of the committee, as well as this representation, is the sustainable growth and development of the agriculture sector and improving the plight of Filipino farmers and fisherfolks. I believe that the establishment of multi-species marine hatcheries in areas where they can provide the needed benefits to fisherfolks and fishing communities is a positive step in that direction,” the lady legislator said in her omnibus sponsorship speech on the local bills.
Ten of the bills, House Bill Nos. 4850, 4851, 4852, 4854, 4855, 4857, 4858, 4859, 4860 and 4861 mandate the establishment of multi-species marine hatcheries in Lopez, Atimonan, Gumaca, Tagkawayan, Quezon, Perez, Calauag, Plaridel, Guinayangan and Alabat in Quezon Province, respectively.
Three other bills, House Bill Nos. 4848, 4853 and 4856 mandate the establishment of multi-species marine hatchery in Bislig, Barobo and Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur. While HB 4862 mandates the establishment of multi-species marine hatchery in Ligao, Albay.
The lady lawmaker noted that the Department of Agriculture supports the establishment of marine hatchery facilities as such are considered critical interventions and are specified in the 2016-2020 Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan.
“Aquaculture or fish farming is crucial for our food security. There is an uptrend in aquaculture globally. The number of fish now harvested from farms has doubled – nearly tripled – in recent years, and aquaculture is fulfilling nearly half the world’s demand for fish,” the lady senator added.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, aquaculture now provides about 63.6 million tonnes of fish per year, while 67.2 million tonnes come from wild catch. As early as 2015, farming is expected to surpass fisheries as the main producer of fish. By 2050, UNFAO is predicting that aquaculture will provide 100 percent of fish supply.
Last Congress, 10 laws principally sponsored by Villar were enacted creating breeding farms and hatcheries in different parts of the country, namely; Republic Act 10787 (Lingig, Surigao del Sur), RA 10813 (Jabonga, Agusan del Norte), RA 10825 (Surigao City and Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte), RA 10826 (Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat), RA 10856 (Bantayan, Cebu), RA 10857 (Virac, Bato, Baras, Gigmoto, Viga, Panganiban, Bagamanoc, San Andres, Caramoan and Pandan in Catanduanes), RA 10858 (Nasipit, Agusan del Norte), RA 10859 (Jose Dalman, Zamboanga del Norte), RA 10860 (Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Lanao del Norte), and RA 10861 (Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, and Eastern and Northern Samar).