Vice presidential aspirant and Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano today went to Dagupan, Pangasinan and spoke with bangus farmers to push for a “people’s bank” to facilitate capital lending.
This is part of the “Ronda-Serye” listening tour with his running mate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, where the tandem personally listens to ordinary Filipinos and presents their solutions to the country’s disorder.
The senator lamented the current situation of the bangus industry in the area.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Pangasinan remains the country’s largest producer of the fish, with yearly harvests averaging 150 million kilos. However, local hatcheries could only produce about a third of the fingerling requirements of fish ponds, pens and cages.
As a result, of the annual demand of 600 million, about 100 million is sourced from Cagayan, another 100 million from Ilocos region, 150 million from Sarangani, while the rest come from Indonesia.
“One of the fishermen’s main problems is the lack of capital to put up more facilities in order to respond to this demand,” Cayetano noted. Cayetano said that he plans to make access to capital easier, and payment of loans more flexible. He plans to do this by establishing a public bank to provide loans specifically for small entrepreneurs.
“Sobra na ang hirap at gulo sa bansa. Ang kailangan ay tunay na pagbabago. Magagawa lang ito kung may tapang at tibay ng loob ang mga susunod na lider. Ito ang inaalok ko at ni Mayor Duterte,” Cayetano concluded.