THE Board of Investments (BoI) has approved the application of Carthage Crab Meat Processing (CCMP) for its P9-million crabmeat canning factory in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

The BoI said in a statement on Monday that CCMP’s raw crab requirements reach 1,970 metric tons (MT), of which 20% or 394 MT, equivalent to P132 million, will come from local fisherfolk.

“The project will provide some P110.7 million in income, as the advantage of importing crabs is the generation of all-year-round job orders to the meat picking workers,” the BoI said.

“The CCMP will locally source 50% of its packaging materials (cans, cartons, can stickers and carton stickers) and ice, and in addition to this, aside from the meatpacking plants, it will hire a cleaning and sanitation service provider,” it added.

According to the BoI, CCMP’s crabmeat canning factory is estimated to hire 808 employees, of which 90 people will be employed at the beginning of its operation.

It added that CCMP can assist in the reopening of at least five picking plants, of which each plant is seen to create jobs for 70 to 100 personnel amid the disruption in the operations of some crab canneries in Western Visayas due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“With more or less 42 picking plants, Region 6 (Western Visayas) produces 42% of the total crabs’ supply in the Philippines which are exported overseas. The said firm may opt to source its crab requirements domestically, as the country is producing an annual average of 30,919 MT, particularly in Region 6, which is producing an annual average of 9,468.53 MT,” the BoI said.

“It also intends to educate the community and train them to turn the crab processing wastes into products and in turn, will protect the environment from waste management costs,” it added.

With this, the BoI said CCPM’s export sales will create an additional 392.72 MT of pasteurized canned crabmeat, with an export value of $17.674 million at full capacity.

It added that the company’s export sales may reach $152.681 million throughout its 10 years of operation.

Meanwhile, the BoI said the country’s export volume is seen to climb by 11% to 3,809 MT following the entry of CCMP in the export market.

“Last year, the country exported crab products worth US$65.3 million with the USA, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Kuwait, Singapore, Japan, and Indonesia as top markets,” the BoI said.

“The Visayan Sea and Guimaras Strait are the most important crabbing areas in the Philippines, containing about half of the country’s crab picking stations. Other fishing areas for alimasag (blue swimming crabs) are Masbate, Cebu, Leyte, and Palawan,” it added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave