October 8, 2011
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Foods Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today urges Malacanang to allocate funds to fast track the recovery of losses incurred by the agricultural sector in the wake of typhoons Pedring and Quiel.
“We need immediate restocking of bangus fingerlings in small fishpens in Bulacan and other areas damaged by the typhoons. Left alone, it would take them 60 to 75 days to restock. That would take too long. If we don’t act fast, this will impact our food supply chain.”
Pangilinan also urges the Department of Agriculture to give away fingerlings for free to fishpen owners to help them recover.
“Most of these fishpen owners are left with nothing. Wala na rin silang pambayad para mag-restock. Instead of subsidizing, the DA should give away fingerlings for free.”
Data from the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food (PCAFI) show that more than 36,000 metric tons of bangus and tilapia were lost due to typhoon Pedring alone. In Hagonoy, over 7,000 hectares of fishponds were destroyed. Figures are expected to go higher as officials tally the damages. Pangilinan says that BFAR can get fisherlings from their stock as well as private hatcheries. The government needs only to allocate funds for the DA to be able to give away the fingerlings to fisherfolk as soon as possible.
“Let us prioritize small fishfarmers and help them get back on their feet and help mitigate the damaging effects of the typhoon. If we don’t do so soon, we will feel the immediate effects on our food supply chain. We urge the government to allocate and release funds now for the immediate restocking of our food.”