• DTI eyes facility for ‘pangasius’ processing

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    The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in cooperation with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) recently held a convergence meeting of pangasius (Pangas catfish) stakeholders, primarily to discuss and plan the tapping of the department’s shared service facility (SSF) program.

    “The DTI intends to provide SSFs to priority industry clusters, including the pangasius industry, this year and in the succeeding years until 2016,” DTI Assistant Regional Director for Region 12 Dorecita Delima said during the pangasius industry stakeholders’ convergence meeting in Makati City.

    Delima is also the DTI national pangasius industry cluster manager.

    “We have initially identified areas that want to avail of these SSFs. Before informing the regions to request for these SSFs, we thought of studying them first to procure the right equipment,” Delima said.

    The SSFs are part of DTI’s flagship program for micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) development, where common service facilities are shared by a number of beneficiaries such as cooperatives, institutions and communities. The SSF sharing will help MSMEs become competitive in the local and foreign markets.

    Shared services facilities
    The SSF program has a budget allocation of P700 million. For 2013, the DTI is set to meet its targeted 800 SSFs nationwide to enable the growth of innovative and globally competitive MSMEs.

    During the convergence meeting, the DTI and stakeholders, with the assistance of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), worked on the establishment of a fish processing plant as the SSF for fish growers. ?

    The official said that the problem is that fish processors have been controlling prices locally, so the DTI thought of letting fish growers do their own processing.

    Besides considering the SSF program, the convergence meeting also assessed the accomplishments of the pangasius industry cluster from 2009 to 2012.

    Pangasius was introduced by BFAR in the Philippines in 1981. It belongs to the catfish family and known commonly then as an aquarium fish, named “hammer head shark.”

    The pangasius industry cluster is also one of the industry clusters that will be featured in the upcoming investment conference organized by the DTI through its Regional Operations Development Group in cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

    “During the conference, we will have breakout session on the pangasius [industry cluster]. We will also promote this conference to have a representation per region,” Delima said.

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