Central Visayas still without a government-owned cold storage facility

NOT a single government-owned cold storage facility is operating in Central Visayas, which could help address fish spoilage across the country.

Only private cold storage facilities are currently operating in the region, according to the list from the Fisheries Inspection and Quarantine Division of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) 7 office.

There are 15 accredited private cold storage facilities in the region and all of them are in Cebu.

Eight operate in Mandaue City, three in Consolacion town, two in Cebu City, one in Lapu-Lapu City and one in the City of Naga in the south.

The high fish spoilage rate in the country has been blamed on the lack of post-harvest equipment including blast freezers and cold storage facilities in some parts of the country.

Citing Bfar’s figures, Malacañang said the current national fish spoilage rate ranges between 25 and 40 percent.

The presence of cold storage facilities could help curb the spoilage of the fishermen’s catch and prevent reliance on imports, officials said.

In a meeting with concerned agencies and stakeholders on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said he hopes the government could lower the spoilage rate to around eight to 10 percent.

Marcos Jr. said the government will build around a dozen cold storage facilities in several fish ports in the country to address the spoilage of fishes.

SunStar Cebu tried to reach Bfar 7 officials for their comment on the matter but no one was available as of press time.