PH eyes importing galunggong to stabilize prices

Marje Pelayo   •   August 22, 2018   •   5463



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

Lawmaker wants NEDA, DOLE to explain non-passage of anti-endo bill

Maris Federez   •   August 5, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Various militant groups march toward Mendiola in Manila to join the Labor Day protest against contractualization and to demand wage hike on 01 May 2019. (Rodel Lumiares/ Photoville International)

Senator Joel Villanueva wants to invite some members of the Cabinet to the Senate hearing on the anti-endo bill.

The lawmaker said he wants to hear the position of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) on the vetoing of the said measure.

Villanueva said he is bewildered as to why the President vetoed the bill despite the series of consultations conducted by the labor department and the Chief Executive’s economic managers.

“We can’t wait to hear the officials from the administration, especially those who influence the President to veto the measure na ilahad sa atin kung ano yung reservation nila [to relay to us their reservations],” Villanueva added.

The Senate has yet to set the date of the hearing on the controversial bill. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

NEDA: Gov’t sets in place firm policies on advancing population, development in Phl

Maris Federez   •   April 5, 2019

“The Government of the Philippines strongly recognizes the interdependence of population and sustainable development.  Such recognition has been concretely translated into national policies and programs such as the Philippine Population Management Program established fifty years ago.”

This was part of the opening message of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia during the 52nd Session of the Commission on Population and Development in UN Headquarters, New York City, 1-5 April 2019.

In his speech, Pernia reported that “the country has achieved significant milestones at the outcome and policy levels even in the face of challenging political and cultural factors,” with Filipinos continuing to increase at around 2 million annually, even as the growth rate has declined to 1.76%.

The country’s total fertility rate has also gone down to 2.7 children, closer to the desired fertility rate of 2.4 children on average.  Adolescent fertility rate has likewise taken a downward trend. 

This decline in fertility rate has been made possible by the increasing contraceptive use for modern methods from 38% in 2013 to 40% in 2017.

Pernia added that President Rodrigo Duterte’s firm policy actions on population and development are expected to pave the way for the country to meet the goals in the medium term.

Among these actions are: “(1) the issuance of Executive Order No. 12 to achieve and sustain zero unmet need for modern family planning by 2022; (2) the inclusion of the full implementation of the RPRH Law as one of the priority socioeconomic agenda; and, (3) the approval of the intensified implementation of the National Program on Population and Family Planning,” the NEDA official said.

Pernia added that “the Philippines is no longer an economic laggard in our region. Our economy has been growing 6 percent or better for fifteen straight quarters, and at an average rate of 6.5 percent during the first ten quarters of this administration. This shows that we are on a higher growth trajectory.”

As part of the country’s socioeconomic strategies under the Philippine Development Plan for 2017-2022, the NEDA Chief said, the government is pursuing policy interventions to reach for and optimize the demographic dividend, with the enactment of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law; the continuing education reforms through our K-12 program; and the provision of free tuition and fees for tertiary students of state universities and colleges, among others.

Pernia, on the other hand, admitted that while the government has considerably advanced the agenda of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in the country, there are still gaps and challenges to address. 

He is confident, however, that with strong political will and resolve from the national leaders, the government “shall vigorously pursue strategic ways and means to ensure people-centered, self-sustaining development towards the realization of the ICPD agenda in the country.” – Maris Federez

BFAR suspects manipulation in price of round scad

Marje Pelayo   •   October 9, 2018



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


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