DAGUPAN CITY: The RP-Korea Seafood Processing Plant in Barangay Bonuan Binloc, Dagupan City continues to be one of the most modern processing plants in the country jointly owned by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Dagupan City government.
Dr. Westly Rosario, chief of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center (NIFTDC), a research arm of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), said the facility processed fish, particularly milkfish, that were being sold locally and abroad.
Though established through. USD 2- million grant from the Korean Overseas International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), it was then Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. who sought this grant making use of his strong linkage with members of parliament of South Korea.
Now employing 97 housewives from Barangay Bonuan Binloc as fish processors year-round, the plant processes the fish of fish farmers and exporters in a bid to add more value to their products before these are sold in the domestic and foreign markets.
“Our workers were chosen from more than 200 housewives we first trained on fish processing. Now, they have a steady source of income and no longer going idle in their homes and neighborhood,” Rosario said.
The seafood processing plant is a boon to the 22-hectare NIFTDC, where fish farmers and technicians and also scientists from various countries are being trained on how to improve fish harvests to help ensure food security throughout the country.
Now the exporters need not go to Manila anymore to process their fish products as there is one available now in Dagupan City.
He thanked former Speaker de Venecia for his valuable contributions to improve aquaculture and fisheries which earned him the honor of leaving his footprints in a tablieu at NIFTCD, the first non-scientist to be accorded such honor ever since.