MANILA, Philippines – The price of galunggong or round scad is one of the barometers of the Philippine economy.
If its price increases, this would affect many Filipinos since this fish is popular among the masses.
As reported by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), fish is among the top inflation contributors last May.
Each kilogram of galunggong is currently sold from P140 to P200, causing some consumers to find other cheaper alternatives.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) earlier explained there is a reduction of supply of fish in the market after the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) restricted commercial vessels from fishing in municipal waters.
To stabilize fish prices, the government plans to import 17,000 metric tons of galunggong.
Though the Philippines has been importing this fish since 2001 until 2016 from China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States, this would be the first time that the said imported fish will be available directly to wet markets following the recent signing of an administrative order by the DA.
“They’re changing the fishery administrative order that would now allow fish imports to be sold in the market,” said DTI Secretary Mon Lopez.
But a consumer group opposed the plan as it will affect the livelihood of local fishermen.
“Ang daming supply kahit sa isda, sa galunggong wala naman tayong.., nag aberya lang dahil dumaan ang weather, hindi po sagot we opposed importation as a policy,” explained Vic Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsyumer.
The cheaper imported galunggong will be available in markets by September, according to the Agriculture Department. – Mon Jocson / UNTV News & Rescue