By Development Communication Section / B Acosta
The Management Committee of SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD) and senior representatives of the relevant Philippine Government institutions (Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Bureau of Agricultural Research; Department of Foreign Affairs; Department of Budget and Management and the University of the Philippines Visayas) gathered on 20 October 2015 at the Best Western Plus Antel Hotel, Makati City for the 25th Meeting of the Philippine Technical Administrative Committee (PTAC). PTAC comprises the high level representatives of relevant Philippine Government agencies and is tasked to provide close coordination between the host government and SEAFDEC with regard to the operations of AQD.
The meeting was convened to review the accomplishments of SEAFDEC/AQD in 2015 (R&D Programs, and Administration and Finance) and plans for 2016, for endorsement to the SEAFDEC Program Committee and the Philippine Government, and to discuss the pressing issues that concern the operations of AQD. This year’s PTAC meeting was chaired by the Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR Director Atty. Asis Perez.
PTAC noted the significant progress on SEAFDEC/AQD’s R&D programs in 2015 and endorsed its 2016 planned activities, including the proposed budget for 2017. The other highlights of discussions are as follows: (i) SEAFDEC/AQD has been requested to help BFAR in the establishment of the giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) hatchery facility in Cotabato City which will be dedicated for possible reintroduction of 16 Macrobrachium species found endemic in the areas of Liguasan marsh; (ii) PTAC commended SEAFDEC/AQD for its significant efforts on capacity building; hence, encouraged the Department to continue training for governments of various countries since this initiative promotes goodwill. In this connection, SEAFDEC/AQD was informed of the present initiative to train the country’s local government units on aquaculture. BFAR will initiate formal cooperation arrangements with SEAFDEC/AQD to address this mandate.