By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto is seeking the creation of a Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to address high prices of fish in markets.
Recto, in planning to file to a measure on the matter, said the proposed agency would aid in the tempering of inflation which government economic managers now blamed on food.
The country’s inflation rate reportedly remained steady at 6.7 percent for the month of October as prices of food items decline.
With the development, Recto is upbeat that inflation would “soon” decrease.
He added he expects Congress to pass rice tariffication within the year which would “help further bring down inflation.”
Since there is a Department of Agriculture (DA) in charge of agricultural lands, the senator said it would be ideal to create a separate agency for country’s fisheries sector.
“In the long term, I am proposing to create a department of fisheries and aquaculture to help address high price of fish..[I] will be filing bill,” Recto said Tuesday.
“It makes sense to have a Secretary of Agriculture to oversee 10-million hectares of agriculture land and a secretary of fisheries to oversee 250-million hectares of fisheries [in the] EEZ,”
At present, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources operates under the supervision of the DA.
Prior to Recto’s proposal, at least five bills on the proposed department have been filed before the Senate during the 17th Congress but have since been pending in the committee level.