The Agriculture Department is setting aside P2 million in funds for the development of the Marine Breeding and Research Center (MBRC), which will rise in the island province of Romblon soon.
The Center, which will be established in a two-hectare portion of coastal land in barangay Canduyong in Odiongan, is an offshoot of Republic Act No. 9460, which was passed in 2007.
"The project will finally push through after four years, as we have found a suitable area that is typhoon and pollution free," Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said.
"Ito po ay bahagi ng utos ng Pangulong Aquino, na kami ay pumunta sa mga malalayong barangay upang maipaabot ang tulong ng pamahalaan [This is part of the directives of President Aquino for us to go to the farthest barangay and extend government assistance]," he added.
"Gusto po naming iparamdam sa mga mamamayan ang tulong ng gobyerno [We want the people to feel the assistance of the government]."
During a site visitation, Alcala instructed Dir. Malcolm Sarmiento of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to closely coordinate with the provincial government of Romblon and fast track the release of the funds.
Dir. Sarmiento stressed that the operation of the Center, which will include research and experimentation as well as breeding, propagation and distribution of spawners, fry and fingerlings, will be supervised by BFAR in close coordination with the provincial government.
"We will also seek the assistance of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center because of their expertise in aqua research and development," Sarmiento said.
Aside from job generation, the MBRC seeks to improve existing fishery technologies and maximize potentials of the fishing industry.
"We will encourage the culture of a variety of marine species native to Romblon, thereby attracting investments," Governor Edgardo Firmalo said. "These combined efforts aim to improve the lives of the local fishers and their families."
Alcala added that under the Master Development Program of the government a team of experts from the DA will visit the province to assess and look into possible agricultural projects for the residents.
An April 7, 2011 press release by the Department of Agriculture