The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has partnered with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for the promotion and development of three mariculture parks in Palawan.
The mariculture parks are located in Puerto Princesa Bay and the municipal waters of Narra and Quezon.
Provincial BFAR head Mario Basaya told Palawan News on Tuesday that the partnership forged by BFAR and LBP will help investors who want to engage in fish culture through modular fish cages. They can culture milkfish, locally known as bangus and grouper known also as loba and lapu-lapu.
“This will encourage investors kasi merong credit assistance sa mga nag-signify ng interest. Sa technical side ay tutulong kami sa BFAR, at sa financial naman ay thru credit ng Land Bank (LBP),” he said.
The LBP loan may require collateral, depending on the agreement that will be reached with the borrower, such as forfeiture of the fish cages in favor of LBP, once the principal borrower failed to pay its amortizations. Earlier this month of May 2018, a one-on-one consultation with prospective investors and LBP was conducted in Palawan Uno Hotel.
Basaya explained that a fish cage with a size of 10 meters x 10 meters x 5 meters can be stocked with some 15,000 fingerlings and this is equivalent to 3 to 4 hectares of fishponds in the inland.
Both bangus and lapu-lapu culture are profitable ventures and it can be harvested after four months, but if an investor has four or more fish cages, they can do a monthly harvest through a rotation.
The investor may also fabricate smaller fish cages like 5 meters x 5 meters x 4 meters. For this, the LBP can release P700 thousand to a borrower/investor. Fully grown bangus fetches P160-P180 as gate price and is sold at the market for more than P200 per kilo. Lapu-lapu, on the other hand, is P300 per kilo while live lapu-lapu is P100 per gram or P1 thousand per kilo.
“Sa mga projects na ganitong may malaking investment ay may malaki din ang kita. Kung meron kang maraming modular na fish cages ay pwede kang makapag-harvest monthly,” he explained.
Basaya further explained that they can assist an investor in the design of the fish cages and as well as the formulation of the program of work (POW).
The amount that will be released by LBP is based on the POW. Their office can assist in other technical aspects of the project. For the project site selection, an investor needs to approach the local agriculture office to submit the application and other documentary requirements.
In Puerto Princesa City, the city agriculture’s office headed by city agriculturist Melissa Macasaet is facilitating the applications of interested investors who manifested their intention to install fish cages in the mariculture park.
An applicant may need barangay certification, certification from the city planning office for the zoning or specific sites where their cages will be installed. The application will also be deliberated by the city council’s committee on fisheries before its approval.
“Sa mga bayan naman, ay mas simple ang proseso compared dito sa Puerto Princesa,” Bayasa said.