Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo (Rep. Salo’s office)
Kabayan Party-list Rep. Ron Salo is not losing hope over the passage into law of the long-sought measure creating the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR).
In fact, he’s feeling the exact opposite.
“After several attempts in the past on the creation of a department specifically focused on developing our fisheries and aquatic resources, I am confident that we are nearer its realization in this Congress,” Salo said in a statement Friday, Nov. 10.
“It was highlighted as a priority measure of the House in a recent pronouncement by Speaker Martin Romualdez. This support from the House Leadership will certainly provide the needed momentum in facilitating the passage of this measure,” noted the veteran solon.
Salo served as the technical working group (TWG) chairman on behalf of the Committee on Government Reorganization in crafting the DFAR bill during the previous 18th Congress.
He was requested to be the vice chairman of the TWG created again to craft the latest version of the bill in the current 19th Congress during a joint committee hearing held on Wednesday, Nov. 9. by the House Committee on Government Reorganization and the Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources.
A similar measure has been consistently filed in the House since the 13th Congress, Salo noted.
“Our country is a nation of over 7,100 islands with a sprawling coastline that stretches across 36,289 kilometers. Fishing is deeply woven into the fabric of our society, providing employment and nourishment to millions. As of May 2022, this industry employs approximately 1.4 million Filipino fishing operators nationwide,” Salo said.
“Yet, as we assess the global trends in aquaculture production, it is evident that the Philippines’ position has diminished from 4th place in 1985 to 12th place in 2022. The Philippines now contributes just over one percent (1 percent) of global farmed fish production compared to its original share of five percent (5 percent),” he lamented.
“Thus, there is a pressing need for a blue economy paradigm—one that sustains marine resources while fostering economic growth and improved livelihoods. The blue economy encompasses not only fisheries but also tourism, trade, and other activities linked to the ocean’s resources,” Salo explained.
He says the proposed DFAR will be the primary body tasked with the protection, conservation, development, and management of the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources, as well as reserving their utilization to Filipino citizens.
“This dedicated department will be instrumental in optimizing the blue economy, advancing the well-being of the fishing communities, and conserving our rich marine biodiversity,” Salo said.
Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph