Press Release
May 7, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara said that the government can address the issues brought by the problems of food security with increased investment into fisheries and aquaculture.

Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) said that the government needs to develop a concrete plan that can fully exploit the potential of the country in aquaculture.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Philippines has fallen from the rank of 4th in the world in aquaculture to its present ranking of 12th, contributing less than 1% of the global market.

Angara said that new technology and better farming practices can push the industry forward to become more globally competitive again.

According to COMSTE, the Philippines relies mainly on the farming of milkfish, tilapia, seaweed, sea bass, prawns and shrimp.

Angara said that aside from providing food security, the expansion of the aquaculture industry would provide more jobs and provide local scientists and farmers with new means to conduct R&D in the growing field.

Angara indicated that he is looking to develop a strategic plan that involves using S&T to address critical issues like rising food costs and shortages. The former Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary has been pushing to integrate S&T into the national agenda in order to hasten the capabilities of local industries to be competitive on the global stage.

COMSTE is a proponent of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) which put the government, industry and academe on the same page and collaborating closely to achieve the same goals.

Angara reiterated that long-term solutions entail investing in agricultural infrastructure and R&D. He said that COMSTE is looking into Aquaculture and fishing industries that could possibly provide a high protein diet for Filipinos and at the same time enlarge an export market that can create more jobs.

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