Fish unloading fee proposed in Ilocos Norte

LAOAG CITY – Ilocos Norte-based fishermen are likely to be required to pay unloading fee for freshly-caught fishery products soon.

This was under a proposal made following the construction of community fish landing centers (CFLC) in the province.

Arthur Valente, Fishery Regulatory Coordinator of the Provincial Agriculture Office, said Monday public consultation with coastal communities here is ongoing to solicit their support.

With the proposed payment at PHP1 per kilo of freshly caught fish that will be unloaded at the CFLC, Valente said whatever amount collected from the fishermen will return to them in the form of government projects and services.

Small-time fishers with a catch of less than five kilograms are exempted from payment, Valente added.

In Ilocos Norte, there are seven fish landing sites constructed recently to monitor fish catch. These are located in Laoag City and in the coastal towns of Badoc, Paoay, Pasuquin, Bangui, Burgos and Pagudpud.

Valente said data collection is very important to determine the right government intervention to improve the socio-economic conditions of fisherfolk communities with high poverty incidence.

Other rental fees and charges are also being prepared for the use of post-harvest equipment and tools the BFAR recently turned over to CFLC beneficiaries.

Once the CFLCs are fully operational, local consumers are also expected to benefit from them as they will have better access to safe and quality fishery commodities.