Fishing groups support MEDA Bill
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (15 January) -- Once the proposed Mindanao Economic Development Authority (MEDA) is approved, the fishing industry in Mindanao will be among the first to benefit from the move which will institutionalize the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo).
The SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing Associations and Allied Industries are among the supporters of the said bill which is due for a bicameral hearing next week.
The federation president Marfin Tan said in a press release that the tuna industry was assisted by MEDCo by providing a conducive policy and business environment for the said industry.
Through MEDCO, Mindanao’s tuna industry was then linked to its counterparts in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines- East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
Tan stressed that Mindanao needs a permanent body that would consolidate Mindanao resources and find potential markets for its products.
The MEDA Bill was also supported by the Southern Philippines Deep-Sea Fishing Association, a large group of fishing operators in Western Mindanao engaged in sardines fishing.
"We express our unequivocal support to the MEDA Bill which essentially seeks to institutionalize the present office into a permanent body that will oversee, facilitate and integrate the development of Mindanao," said Robert Baylosis, executive vice president of the said association.
The tuna industry in SOCSKSARGEN has been providing about 120,000 jobs and considered as the country’s major tuna producer. It has contributed about 4 percent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. (PIA XI) [top]