December 27, 2012
Philippine trade department to tap inmates in proposed Pangasius production
The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is planning to tap the service of inmates for the production of Pangasius fish, commonly known as cream dory, in the country.
According to the DTI, the proposed project would benefit the inmates by providing them a source of income and at the same time boost the Pangasius production in the country.
The DTI said it has already presented the proposal to the officials of the Bureau of Corrections, headed by officer-in-charge Rafael Marcos Ragos.
At present, the Philippines' monthly imports of Pangasius reach about 600 metric tons, valued at US$1.65 million, mostly coming from Vietnam.
Ragos, in a response to the DTI proposal, said the project can be established in its penal colonies located in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro and Iwahig, Palawan, where they have existing fishponds for fish farming.
Ragos urged the DTI to look for a prospective investor to put up the facilities for the processing of the harvested Pangasius because the BuCor could not afford it.
Ragos said he wants the project to do it in a public-private partnership approach and partner with an investor who will provide the equipment and look for a potential market for Pangasius.
The Bureau of Corrections, through its Davao Penal Colony, had partnered with the Tagum Agricultural Development Co. in operating a banana plantation farm in Davao.