The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved the application for registration of Carthage Crab Meat Processing (CCMP), a newly established cannery of crabmeat in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. 

For its full operations, the firm’s raw crab requirements are 1,970 metric tons (MT), of which, 20 percent of this requirement (394 MT, equivalent to Php132 million) will come from local fisher folks

With more or less 42 picking plants, Region VI (Western Visayas) produces 42 percent 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 VI, which is producing an annual average of 9,468.53 MT. 

To mitigate the economic repercussions brought by the lingering pandemic, the CCMP can help at least five picking plants to reopen and each is projected to generate 70-100 workers, as pandemic’s disruption in operations leads to the closure of some of the region’s crab canneries.  

The CCMP will spur various economic gains, as the project will help in addressing the unemployment challenge in Western Visayas particularly in the province of Bacolod. The firm eyes to employ a projected number of 808 employees, where 90 people will be hired at the start of its operation. 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. 

The project will provide some Php110.7 million in income, as the advantage of importing crabs is the generation of all-year-round job orders to the meat picking workers. The CCMP will locally source 50 percent 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.  

The firm’s export sales will generate an additional 392.72 MT of pasteurized canned crab meat, with an export value of US$17.674 million, at full capacity.  Throughout its 10 years of operation, the firm’s export sales may even reach US$ 152.681 million.  

Standing as the fourth major fishery export of the Philippines, blue swimming crabs (locally known as alimasag) are widely distributed throughout the Philippine waters, particularly in nearshore shelf areas at depths above 70 meter.  

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 are Masbate, Cebu, Leyte, and Palawan.  

Furthermore, the Philippines placed as the fourth biggest exporter (in value terms) of prepared/preserved crab next to Indonesia, China, and Vietnam, and with the entry of Carthage Crab Meat Processing in the export market, the Philippines’ export volume is projected to increase by 11 percent, from 3,416 MT to 3,809 MT. 

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. END