MANILA – The fishery sector will receive a much-needed boost under the administration of presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong' Marcos who promised to uplift the lives of fisherfolk by modernizing their fishing vessels and providing them with needed equipment to ensure their higher catch and safer voyage in the sea.
During the recent SMNI's “Deep Probe” presidential interview, Marcos said there is a need for the government to attend to the needs of the fishermen because most of them are still stuck with their old boats, many of which have already seen better days.
"In our fisheries, there is a very good potential for us kung ayusin lang natin ang ating kinukuhanan ng isda. Number one, bigyan natin ang ating mangingisda ng mas malaking bangka. Maliliit lang yung bangka nila (if we just address our catch of fish. Number one, let’s give our fishermen bigger boats. Their boats are small) and they have to go out already 12 kilometers kasi overfished na dito sa loob (because overfished near the shores)," he said.
Marcos said local fishermen must be safe and be assured that they get all the fish they need without intervention from other nations.
"Then of course, patrols kasi maraming nagpo-poach sa atin (strengthen patrols because many poach here)," he said.
Marcos highlighted the need to strengthen the fishing industry after the previous announcement by the government that the country will start importing galunggong (round scad) from other countries.
"There are other things that need to be done as well, the fact that we are importing galunggong has been made very public, it’s very clear that it is quite a surprise for us to get into that situation. But again it really comes from the neglect in the agriculture and fisheries sector," he said.
As part of the agriculture sector, Marcos said fishermen, as well as farmers, must have all new and best techniques and technologies.
During the SMNI's debate last month, Marcos also bared his foreign policy on how he will handle the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea for Filipino fishermen to be able to go back where they have been fishing for over a hundred years already. (PR)