BFAR sets aside P110M to rehab Guiuan facility

GUIUAN, Eastern Samar -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has set aside P110 million for the rehabilitation of the Guiuan Marine Fisheries Development Center (GMFDC).

But actual construction has not yet started since BFAR is still awaiting the public bidding after it has been posted in the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS).

“We have already started the layout and design for the structures but we still wait for the bidding and it needs posting in PhilGEPS,” said Nonita Cabacaba, BFAR-GMFDC officer-in-charge.

Cabacaba said their dormitory, administration building, tanks, phycology lab, fish health, seaweed tissue culture lab, and hatcheries were badly damaged.

BFAR-GMFDC had six hatcheries that house giant clams, blue swimming crabs, abalone, sea cucumbers, scallop, and milk fish.

After Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), only the milk fish hatchery was left standing.

Since March, BFAR has already started temporary rehabilitation in order to produce outputs. The staff improvised hatcheries to culture the species.

“The regional office targets June or July next year to finish the reconstruction of all structures,” Cabacaba told PNA.

She said they target either of the two months because by May 2015, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) will start installing the equipment and by August next year, the equipment procured from Japan will also be installed.

“It is a requirement from Jica that when they do the installation, the structures were already finished,” Cabacaba said.

Jica is sponsoring equipment worth P54 million. This amount is for the laboratory apparatuses like microscopes, PH meters, electronic balance, as well as Information Technology (IT) equipment, and electrical pumps, tanks and generators.

The National Government also provided P10 million to rehabilitate Pearl Island.

“Right now, the layout and design for Pearl Island is on the process,” said Cabacaba.

The construction will start by November or December this year. Likewise, it is expected to be finished by June or July next year.

“It should be finished by June or July because a solar panel will be installed there,” the officer-in-charge said.

GMFDC-managed Pearl Island is a pearl culture farm; haven of rich marine life such as lobsters, shells, fishes, abalones, corals; clear blue waters and immaculately white coral beach; perfect site for scuba diving, fishing and swimming.

GMFDC, the only BFAR facility that cultures high valued species, covers the entire Eastern Visayas region. (PNA)
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