Provincial legislators, from L to R: Licurgo Tirador, Suzette Alquisada and Jett Rojas
ILOILO CITY, Philippines – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is infusing P3.5 million grant to IloiloProvince to expand the latter’s inland fish hatchery, making the Central Philippine province the second to host a “fresh water multi-species hatchery”, officials announced.
The first province to have that is Aklan.
|From L to R: Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo, Alma Moreno, BFAR assistant reg’l director Juliet Demo-os, and BFAR Director Edna Janeo|
BFAR officials say the grant will help Iloilo Province set up ponds at its 15-hectare property at Brgy. Nanga, Pototan 35 kilometers north of here which hosts the Iloilo Rehabilitation Center (IRC).
Gov. Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. is handing over the IRC to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) February 1 but is reserving 10 hectares for agricultural and fishery research.
Provincial agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo told provincial legislators at a hearing Monday (January 31) that the P3.5 million grant and the P1.2 million counterpart of the province would suffice to install ponds and hatchery in the 1.5 hectare lot allotted his office.
BFAR regional director Edna Janeo told SPs Suzette Alquisada, Jett Rojas and Licurgo Tirador the hatchery intended would supply town governments wishing to venture into inland fishery with pry of pangassius, tilapia and other fresh water fish.
The facility since 2006 has been operating hatchery for haru-an(mudfish or snake head), tilapia and urang (freshwater prawn). Alma Moreno, the project incharge told the provincial board members that the facility was also into hatching pantat (catfish) using the native and African spawners.
“We have already signed the memorandum of agreement,” said Juliet Demo-os, BFAR assistant regional director. “Once the governor signed it, our national office will immediately transfer the funds.”
She said the BFAR would introduce breeders of pangassius, a catfish from Vietnam that enjoyed high demand among Filipino consumers.
“While we are promoting foreign species, we will also go into production of indigenous ones,” Toledo said.
The hatchery will serve both for research and livelihood. It will be capable of producing fry by volume for distribution to the towns. “This program will be jointly done with the municipalities which will be the ones to identify farmers wishing to venture into fresh water fish farming” Demo-os said.