Press Release
March 10, 2010


Vice presidential race frontrunner and Liberal party candidate Senator Mar Roxas today said an Aquino-Roxas administration will give full assistance to small players in the fishing industry.

He said fisherfolk and small fish processors will need enough support--improved infrastructure, supply chain and marketing linkages--not only in order to survive the current challenges they are facing but also to maximize their potential in the local and international market.

"Kung tapat at tuwid ang pamumuno, tiyak ang asenso. Ang tapat at tuwid na pamumuno, nakatutok sa pagtulong sa maliliit na player sa merkado para sila ay lumaki rin (A clean and honest government ensures progress. It focuses on helping small market players grow)," he said.

Roxas said that with a clean and honest government, the experience of Tito Mike's Food Co. Inc. in Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte--a leading processed sardine exporter--can be replicated to more small fishers and fish processors small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

"Dahil sa tapat at tuwid na pamumuno, lumago ang negosyo ni Tito Mike, at nag-e-export na siya ngayon sa Amerika (Because of clean and honest leadership, Tito Mike's business has grown and is now exporting bottled sardines to America)," he said.

Tito Mike's, owned by Mike Cases--a former overseas Filipino worker--received support from the Department of Trade and Industry's SULONG program for SMEs under Roxas' term as DTI Secretary. Tito Mike's was recognized as Outstanding SME in 2003 and now supplies bottled sardines and other fish products to the US and Canada, and locally through Pan de Manila.

Roxas also relentlessly supported the sardines industry in Dipolog, and even supported the establishment of the In-Glass Sardines of Dipolog Association. Dipolog is known internationally for its bustling sardine processing industry that consists of 13 processing companies that source their fish from local fisherfolk and employs 290 employees.

"Daan-daang mangingisda ang nakikinabang, dahil merong mga food processor tulad ni Tito Mike na laging bumibili ng kanilang huli (Hundreds of fishermen benefit, because there are food processors like Tito Mike who regularly purchase from their catch)," he said.

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