Philippines seeking USD 200 million loan from World Bank to aid fisheries production

Published on
June 11, 2020

The Philippines is looking to borrow USD 200 million (EUR 176 million) from the World Bank to fund a project that aims to improve domestic fisheries production and safeguard its “blue economy” resources.

The Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) project, initiated by the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture (DA), would help scale up and modernize fishing and aquaculture operations in the Philippines, the Philippine Information Agency said in a statement earlier this month.

It also aims to achieve other targets, such as solving structural shortcomings in the value chain, raising income of fishermen, and improving socio-economic development for people living in coastal areas during the outbreak of the coronavirus.

According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, the FishCoRe project “would directly contribute to achieving key outcomes in the department’s Food Security Framework which is integral to the national goals of recovery and resiliency as we survive, reboot, and grow in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

FishCoRe will have four components: Planning of fisheries coastal areas resiliency, management of fisheries and coastal resilient resources, investments in modern and resilient livelihoods, and project management and evaluation.

The project is expected to be executed in various sites at the 12 fisheries management areas. These areas, which include key fishing grounds, lakes, bays, gulfs, and others, were set up last year to help the DA sustainably manage the fisheries resources of the country.

WB Country Director Achim Fock, in a recent letter to Secretary Dar, said the bank “fully supports the goals of the project to sustainably improve incomes of Filipino fisherfolk and support resilient coastal communities through enhanced ecosystem management, productivity-enhancing technologies, aquaculture, reduced post-harvest losses, value-chain infrastructure, and related activities.”

The DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) has been asked to submit the feasibility study (FS) of the project by November this year. The FS will then be presented to World Bank management in June next year.

The DA-BFAR hopes it can launch FishCoRe project in October next year, once approved. 

Photo courtesy of the Philippines Department of Agriculture

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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