Second District Rep. Aris Aumentado is pushing for the establishment of a modern fish port with cold storage in Bien Unido town as part of efforts to bring down the reported exorbitant fish prices in the province.
Aumentado said that the proposed project will be on top of his agenda when he returns to Manila next week after the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days break.
According to Aumentado, he will meet with top officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to propose the initiative.
The last-term congressman chose Bien Unido over other towns considering that waters off the town are known to be abundant with fish and other marine products, while its coast still has ideal spaces for a new structure.
The cold storage will be capable of storing large volumes of fresh fish – allaying the fishermen’s worry of having to sell them all at once to Cebu-based buyers at a relatively cheap price for fear of spoiling.
From storage, the fish can be distributed to other towns and even Tagbilaran City. This way, Aumentado said, supply and prices will be more stable.
The cold storage will allow Bohol middlemen and vendors to buy fish at a higher price than Cebu’s offer – and still sell lower than the prevailing price, he added.
Aumentado said that the maya-maya or red snapper, for instance, is bought by Cebu middlemen at P90 per kilo. With cold storage, middlemen in Bohol can buy at around P150 to P180 per kilo, and resell at P200, to make a dent in the current average price of around P400 a kilo, he added.
The solon also believes that the initiative will dissuade fishermen from engaging in dynamite fishing, which he described as a “get-rich-quick” method.
Dynamite fishing is riskier than net fishing as it is destructive to corals that are the “playing grounds” of fish and can be dangerous to fishermen, he said. (June S. Blanco)