MANILA, Philippines – Milkfish sells at P180/kg in Mega Q-Mart in Quezon City.
According to most fish vendors, the price of milkfish was only P140/kg some weeks ago.
Fish vendor Rex Hemson said the price may have spiked because of shortage in supply. This could be the reason, according to another vendor,Ricky Dumpang, why fewer and fewer people are buying milkfish.
However, based on the information provided by the Philippine Milkfish Industry Group to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), there is an abundant supply of milkfish even in Pangasinan, the major supplier of milkfish in the country.
The agency said the spike in prices of milkfish could be an impact of the rising prices of gasoline.
BFAR argues that deliveries usually pass through up to four middlemen before they reach their destination.
“Farm gate price of bangus (milkfish) in Pangasinan is at P125-P127 / kilogram. The reported apparent spike in prices could be attributed to fuel cost,” said BFAR’s Under Secretary Eduardo Gongona.
Meanwhile, the price of round scad remains at P140 to P160/kg in Mega Q-Mart though vendors observe that it is still higher than the previous price of P120/kg.
“Kapag marami kalakal mababa, pagka medyo kokonti siyempre mataas. Bidding din kasi yan sa pakyawan,” vendor Rorry Barcelon said.
“Mula nung June yata o May? Hindi na bumaba yung presyo ng galunggong lalo lang tumaas,” said another vendor Mila Donor.
BFAR suspects that there is a manipulation in the price of round scad because despite delays in the delivery of imported round scad, the price in local markets remain low.
“It’s not even at P140/kg suggested retail price. So mayroong nagma-manipulate siguro diyan,” Gongona said.
The food industry stakeholders join the anti-illegal fishing summit at PICC in order to come up with ways to protect major source of marine products in the country. – Rey Pelayo / Marje Pelayo