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PIA Press Release

Davao Norte town submits to PGMA, P500-M proposal for aquaculture dev't

By By Jean Duron-Abangan

Carmen, Davao del Norte (16 June) -- The Municipal Government of Carmen has submitted to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a project proposal of around P500-million which is aimed to fully develop the Carmen Integrated Aquaculture Park (CIAP).

Carmen Mayor Marcelino Perandos bared the proposal was handed over, Thursday last week, to President Arroyo by Municipal Vice Mayor Alberto L. Sarin in Koronadal City where the President stayed over to spend the 111th Philippine Independence Day.

CIAP covers 745 hectares of waterlogged areas embracing barangays Ising, New Camiling, Tuganay, San Isidro and Salvacion.

"These areas cannot be planted with rice because they are always inundated but they can become productive if turned into fishponds," he said in an interview during the Independence Day flag raising ceremony at the Ising Shrine in Carmen.

Through the technical assistance of the provincial government of Davao del Norte, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Irrigation Administration (NIA), among others, Carmen municipality has come up with the project proposal which shows President Arroyo the need to invest P500 million to develop road network along CIAP area and to construct dikes and fishponds.

"Hopefully, kung makaluy-an, this is a big investment which can augment fish production," he said.

Other than Hito and Tilapia, CIAP is also good for raising Pangasius which usually pitches P200 per kilo.

"If this can be done in Carmen, it would generate employment and income for our (fish) farmers," Perandos said referring to Pangasius production.

Meanwhile, Perandos said acquiring a road-right-of-way in developing CIAP would no longer be much of a problem because the municipal government had organized a committee to negotiate with the landowners.

Perandos explained that the landowners would automatically become producers of aquamarine products and would be able to access technical assistance from the government.

"Wherever are their areas, they would become growers," he said. "That would be additional income for the landowners."

On the other hand, Carmen municipal government has signed a memorandum of understanding with B-MEG which is interested to pour in investment for Pangasius production in CIAP.

Perandos said the signing ceremony was made in Koronadal City during the submission of the CIAP development project proposal to President Arroyo.

But B-MEG still has yet to study and validate the feasibility of raising Pangasius in CIAP before finally investing. "Pagkakaron wala pa ma-determine kung pila ka hectarya ang ilang i-investment," Perandos said.

In another development, Bahrain of Saudi Arabia expressed interest to pour $12 million investment for Bannamae (shrimp) production in CIAP, Provincial Fishery Officer Mohammed Jailani said.

Jailani said the investment interest was conveyed during the April 2009 visit of Bahrain-based business delegation led by Bahraini Minister for Industry and Commerce Hassan Fakno. (PIA XI/JMDA) [top]

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