Gov’t to set up cold storage facilities in fish ports 

THE GOVERNMENT will build cold storage facilities in several Philippine fish ports to prevent spoilage, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said on Wednesday.   

One of the issues hounding the fisheries sector is spoilage, which happens between transport from fishing boats to ports and markets, Mr. Marcos said in a video interview after presiding over a meeting with officials of the Agriculture department and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), among other government agencies.  

The solution there is to put up cold storage facilities where fish catch are brought in,the President said in the video, speaking mainly in Filipino, based on a press release from the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).  

He said the country plans to build 11 more cold storage facilities on top of those already being constructed in ports in the cities of General Santos and Cagayan de Oro in southern Philippines.   

The location of the other planned facilities, which are expected to be operational by the end of the year, was not specified.   

The PCO, citing BFAR, said fish spoilage across the country could hit as much as 40% because of the shortage in post-harvest equipment like blast freezer and ice making machines, and cold storage facilities, among others.  

If the Philippines could lower the spoilage to 8% to 10%, the Philippines would no longer depend on fish imports, according to Mr. Marcos. 

The government would provide ice-making machines to small ports, he added. 

The President also underscored the need to improve the aquaculture sector by modernizing inland fish farms and mariculture.  

He said the government would boost its loan program for aquaculture players.   

That kind of technology is what we need to teach our fishermen, and then we need to give them funds to help them acquire new equipment and supplies, said Mr. Marcos, who is also heading the Agriculture department. Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza