The Department of Agriculture (DA) has vowed to assist six municipalities in Batanes to construct ice-making plants, which would benefit local fishermen in the province.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said he has committed to provide the six municipalities credit assistance under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council.
“The loan is payable in eight years with only a 2-percent interest per annum,” Piñol said.
According to the DA chief, the ice plants will run using solar-powered generators, which are comparatively more modern than existing facilities.
In his message, Piñol urged the local chief executives to establish a food consolidation area.
“This will complement to the presence of food boat that will roam around the country by next year to collect the produce of farmers and fishermen in far provinces to bring to Metropolis area,” he said.
In line with this, Piñol directed Agriculture Undersecretary for Fisheries Eduardo B. Gongona to coordinate with the Navotas shipping company to help design an 80-foot and a 50-foot food boats, which will sail next year.
While in Batanes, the DA chief turned over 100 units of boat-making materials, at P300,000 per boat, to the provincial government.
“We will provide the materials to the fishermen, and we will let them design their own boats based on the climatic requirement of your area,” Piñol said.
To date, Batanes fishers have already completed the construction of 23 units of fiberglass boats.
On top of these, Piñol vowed to assist in the construction and repair of the fishing port of Batanes and directed the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to assign MCS 3010 to serve as patrol boat, which will cover marine areas from the Philippine Rise to West