SEAFDEC builds biotech lab
() - June 1, 2002 - 12:00am
TIGBAUAN, Iloilo– A state-of-the-art biotechnology laboratory is now being built in the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC AQD) complex in this seaside town situated 25 kilometers west of Iloilo City.

Construction of the P431-million Laboratory for Advanced Aquaculture Technologies is scheduled to be completed in March 2003, reported Dr. Rolando R. Platon, SEAFDEC AQD chief.

The establishment of the sophisticated laboratory is a joint initiative of the Department of Agriculture and SEAFDEC AQD.

Philippine government-hosted SEAFDEC AQD is one of the four technical department of SEAFDEC, a regional treaty organization established in December 1967 to promote fisheries development in Southeast Asia.

Current SEAFDEC member-countries are Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Cambodia.

SEAFDEC AQD is mandated to undertake aquaculture research relevant and appropriate for Southeast Asia, develop human resources for the region, and disseminate and exchange information on aquaculture.

AQD maintains four stations in the Philippines-the Tigbauan main station and Dumangas Brackishwater Station, both in Iloilo, the Igang Marine Substation in Guimaras province; and the Binangonan Freshwater Substation in Binangonan, Rizal.

The biotechnology laboratory was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) as a bilateral project between the Philippines and Japanese governments for funding under the Japanese Grant Aid for Fisheries.

A document subsequently signed by Vice President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teofisto Guingona Jr. and Japanese ambassador to the Philippines Yoshihisa Ara stipulated that Japan would provide ¥985 million (P431 million) for the project.

Ambassador Ara has described the laboratory as "a symbol of friendship between the governments of Japan and the Philippines and hopefully face the challenges in aquaculture such as increasing fish production in the region."

The project will be implemented pursuant to the objectives of the Medium-Term Fisheries Management and Development thrust for the fisheries sector.

With the Department of Agriculture as the project proponent and recipient of the facilities, the biotechnology laboratory will be operated by SEAFDEC AQD and the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). – Rudy A. Fernandez

ADVANCED AQUACULTURE TECHNOLOGIES AMBASSADOR ARA AQD BINANGONAN FRESHWATER SUBSTATION BRUNEI DARUSSALAM BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DR. ROLANDO R DUMANGAS BRACKISHWATER STATION SEAFDEC SOUTHEAST ASIA
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