Fisheries department bill filed
Akbayan Partylist Rep. Tom Villarin has filed House Bill 1612 which seeks to create the Department of Ocean, Fisheries, and Aquatic Resources (DOFAR) that will manage and protect the country’s marine resources.
Villarin was quoted by the Philippine News Agency as saying that the vast Philippine waters, which cover 2.2 million square kilometers and 18,000 kilometers of coastline, needs to be managed by a fullfledged department.
He said the DOFAR will also take care of the interests of the fisherfolk, who are among the most vulnerable sectors of society.
He said the DOFAR will ensure there is enough fish for succeeding generations to catch, sell, and eat.
Under the proposed measure, the DOFAR will regulate the production and capture of fish and fishery products, as well as the processing and marketing of all fisheries and aquatic products in the country.
The proposed new department will also rationalize all ocean sector initiatives such as marine energy exploration and development, coastal and marine tourism, designation of shipping lanes, protected areas and marine industry development areas.