Philippines approves modernization of largest fishing port

Published on
January 6, 2020

The House Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources of the Philippines has passed a bill aiming to improve, rehabilitate, and modernize a major fishing port in five years, The Manila Bulletin reported in December.

The Navotas Fish Port Complex (NFPC) in Metro Manila is the premier fish center of the Philippines and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. It is under the purview of the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), according to PFDA.

“The measure is aimed at improving the capacity and the services of the port in order to meet the requirements of the Philippine fishing industry, thereby continually benefiting the economy and the people, and promoting the security and stability of our domestic food supply,” said Representative John Reynald Tiangco, the author of the bill. He added that after 43 years of operation, the facilities are now in need of rehabilitation and upgrading.

The bill requires PFDA, which will serve as the lead implementing arm of the project, to conduct a development plan. Based on the scheme, the modernization project must be implemented within five years, funding for which will come from the national government’s annual budget of expenditures.

PFDA said the Navotas is a business center with markets, ice plants, cold storage, fish processing facilities, canneries, shipbuilding and ship repair facilities, restaurants, a fuel depot, gasoline stations, and other facilities necessary for the fishing sector. Thousands of buyers visit the port daily to buy fish unloaded from commercial fishing vessels.

The Philippines’ total fisheries production in the third quarter of 2019 was estimated at 990,140 metric tons (MT), an increase of 1.8 percent from the same period last year.   

Milkfish, skipjack, and seaweed were the major species that saw improvements in output, rising by 13.1 percent, 11.4 percent, and 4.8 percent, respectively, compared with 2018. On the other hand, species that exhibited decrease in production were round scad, with a drop of 7.5 percent; tilapia, which saw its production fall  6.0 percent; tiger prawn, which experienced a production decrease of 6.9 percent; and yellowfin tuna which had a 5.4 percent drop in production, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Photo courtesy of Tatiana Nurieva/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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