Press Release
September 28, 2021

Sen. Cynthia A. Villar Sponsorship Speech on Committee Reports 290, 291, and 292 (HATCHERIES)

Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, good afternoon.

It is my honor as Chairman of the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Agrarian Reform to present for approval three (3) house bills proposing for the establishment of Marine Multi - species Hatcheries in the Municipality of Libon, Province of Albay; in the City Environmental Estate, Barangay Santa Lucia in the City of Puerto Princesa, Palawan and in the Municipality of Batad, Province of Iloilo, and Appropriating Funds therefor.

The multi-species marine hatchery will ensure the sustainable supply of marine products.

1. Committee Report No. 290 is House Bill No. 7435, entitled "An Act Establishing a Central Multi-Species Marine Hatchery in the Municipality of Libon, Province of Albay, and Appropriating Funds Therefor.

Within two years after its construction, BFAR shall transfer the management of the Central Multi-Species Hatchery to the local government of Libon through a Memorandum of Agreement. BFAR shall implement a training and phasing-in program for the LGU personnel on the management and operation of the Central Hatchery.

2. Committee Report 291 was referred to the Senate as House Bill 7544 entitled An Act Establishing A Central Multi-Species Marine Hatchery in the City Environmental Estate in Barangay Santa Lucia, City of Puerto Princesa, Province of Palawan, and Appropriating Funds therefor;

This Act, establishes under the supervision of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Department of Agriculture (BFAR), a multi-species marine hatchery by constructing the structure, and through a memorandum of agreement, transfer its management to the local government unit (LGU) concerned to the Western Philippine University (WPU) within 5 years after its construction through a memorandum of agreement. There shall be training and phasing in program for WPU personnel on the management and operation of the central hatchery in Puerto Princesa City in coordination of The Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center or SEAFDEC.

3. Committee Report 292 is for the establishment of a satellite Multi Specie Marine Hatchery in the Municipality of Batad, Province of Iloilo. The Bill proposes that within three (3) years after the establishment of the satellite multi-specie hatchery, the management shall be transferred to the Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC) through a memorandum of agreement. As in the earlier cited Committee Report, the BFAR shall implement a training and phasing - in program for the NIPSC personnel on the management and operation of the satellite multi-species marine hatchery. The BFAR shall conduct research and experimentation on the breeding and production of marine species appropriate to local conditions for the benefit of the fishing industry.

The fisheries in the Philippines make a significant contribution to the national economy in terms of income and employment. In 2018, the total fish production was estimated at 4.61 million metric tons, and the fisheries sector contributed 4.9 billion US dollars to the country's economy in 2018. (SEAFDEC, 2018). However, compared to our South East Asian Neighbors,

  •  we are only Number four (4) in Marine Capture after Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar;

  •  Number five (5) in our inland (municipal waters) fisheries output compared to Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam ; and

  •  Number three (3) with regards to Aquaculture production, after Indonesia and Vietnam.

In addition, our estimated requirement for fish fry is about 3.5 billion annually, and we can only supply from local production 2.5 billion a year. In this age where competitiveness is the key for our local industries, we cannot remain dependent from outside sources for our production inputs. Every agricultural industry should have a global perspective.

The Libon hatchery is aimed to contribute to the breeding, rearing of milkfish, mangrove crab (alimango) and Jumbo tiger shrimp.

The Palawan hatchery shall expand the production of milkfish fries to minimize importation.

While the Batad, Iloilo hatchery shall contribute to the production of quality tilapia fingerlings and also catfish and giant freshwater prawn.

Mr. President and Distinguished colleagues, we have a lot of catching up to do to support our fishing industry otherwise we will compromise our food security.

The hatcheries shall help solve the problem of dwindling fish supply in our country and secure the livelihood of small fishermen in the Municipal Waters. The hatchery systems would help boosts the efforts of our government to ensure that there is available supply of fries/seeds, such as fingerlings of economically important aquaculture commodities. It is also used to restore threatened and endangered marine species. The building more hatchery facilities to improve the country's fish farming capabilities is one of the long-term solutions to improve productivity. The country's traditional fishing grounds are getting overfished and the government needs to create breeding grounds and hatcheries to help arrest the dwindling fish stock.

The result of the economic feasibility studies conducted in these three locations, support the bills seeking to put up the legislated hatcheries, as follows: in Libon, Albay, as contained in Committee Report 290; Puerto Princesa Palawan, as contained in Committee Report 291 and Committee Report 292 for Batad, Iloilo hatchery establishment.

With the foregoing, I call on my colleagues to support these measures.

Thank you, Mr. President.

News Latest News Feed