A senator on Friday thumbed down a plan to raise the budget of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) after it failed to build fish hatcheries according to law. 

During a budget hearing on Friday, Senator Cynthia A. Villar told bureau officials to stop asking for additional funding when its performance was below par. The agency wants a P17-billion budget for next year from P4 billion this year. 

The senator said lawmakers mandated fish hatcheries help fishermen “but not even one, since 2016, was built for us, even with how cheap it is.” 

BFAR Director Eduardo B. Gongona said five fish hatcheries would be finished by year-end, and 23 more in the first half of next year. 

But Ms. Villar said these figures were absent in the report that she received from the agency. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan