Maguindanao's second district congressman, now senatorial aspirant Zajid Mangudadatu is eyeing a separate department that will focus on the development of the fishing and aquaculture industry to address the plight of the fisherfolk.
Mangudadatu said he wanted to pursue his long-time proposal to make the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources not just a bureau but a department separate from the Department of Agriculture so that the problems would be addressed faster and allow the industry to grow.
Noting that 30 to 40 percent of the country’s population rely on fishing as a livelihood, Mangudadatu said it was important that a separate department must focus on the plight of the people engaged in fishing.
Mangudadatu said the Philippines was a top fishing country in the Asia-Pacific region and had the highest marine diversity, adding it depended on its rich coastal and marine resources.
The lawmaker from Mindanao takes pride in his familiarity with the fisheries and aquaculture industry.
Mangudadatu grew up in a community of fisherfolk and has developed a sense to explore and to develop organic fish farming business.
His initiative later expanded into 300 hectares of fish farms that served as a major supplier of fish products in Mindanao provinces.
As a congressman, Mangudadatu was the senior vice chairperson of the Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources.
Mangudadatu believes the living conditions of the people in the fishing industry, especially the small fisherfolk, would improve, their production will increase if the sector is given the needed attention.
The improvement in the fishing and aquaculture industry is only one of the legislative of Mangudadatu.
He is also batting for peace to unleash the full potential of Mindanao, education which is a key to lift people from poverty, agriculture, promoting of cultural unity, and energy.
Mangudadatu’s agenda is P.E.A.C.E which stands for Prosperity, Education, Agriculture, Cultural Unity, and Energy.