The Department of Agriculture (DA) has approved the importation of 38,695 metric tons (MT) of frozen fish and aquatic products in hopes to stabilize supply and market prices.
The DA said that the agricultural sector will face an estimated 90,000 MT of fish supply deficiency in 2022, according to an analysis by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
Agriculture secretary William also said that the second quarter also coincides with the closed fishing season in the Davao region, which spans from June to August.
“We continue to monitor fish prices, which are now slightly increasing, and the decision to extend the CNI is part of the price stabilization efforts of the government,” Dar said.
Based on data from the agriculture office, the price of bangus (milkfish) has reached P180 per kilo as of Monday (May 23), higher than April’s P160 per kilo.
Moreover, the price of Indian mackerel jumped to P300 a kilo from P260 a kilo last month.
On the other hand, the price of tilapia and local galunggong (round scad) remained at P120 a kilo and P240 a kilo, respectively.
As of May 20, the price of imported galunggong hit P240 a kilo, higher than April’s P195 per kilo.
Local fisherfolk groups have earlier expressed dismay over fish importation saying that small fisherfolk could not compete with low prices of imported products flooding the market.
Fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) in January said that the skyrocketing prices for galunggong and other products are mainly caused by the government’s failure to regulate private trader who secure profits by jacking up the wholesale prices of galunggong.
Under the guidelines recently released by the DA, importers must be willing to sell the imported fish at a price determined after the auction which shall not exceed P90 and shall be traded only in any of the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA)-designated trading areas or PFDA fish ports for effective monitoring of fish disposition.
Pola Rubio is a news writer and photojournalist covering Philippine politics and events. She regularly follows worldwide and local happenings. She advocates for animal welfare and press freedom. Follow her twitter @polarubyo for regular news and cat postings.
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