MANILA – The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) urged consumers to buy fish as protein sources amid the high prices of chicken and pork.
The average price for galunggong (local mackerel) has dropped to PHP200 to PHP240 per kilo, from the previous PHP280, in some Metro Manila markets, DA-BFAR chief information officer Nazzer Briguera told the Philippine News Agency in a phone interview.
“This can be attributed to the recent lifting of the closed fishing season. Our fish volumes unloaded in the Navotas Fish Port Complex have shown a significant amount of fish supply for distribution to different markets in Metro Manila and nearby provinces,” he said.
Other commodities such as bangus (milkfish) and tilapia are more stable in terms of supply due to controlled production, Briguera added.
As of March 17, 2021, data from DA-BFAR showed medium-sized bangus retails for PHP180 per kilo in Bulacan and Pangasinan markets while a medium-sized tilapia is sold at PHP120 per kilo in Batangas and Pampanga.
“We are also anticipating the second quarter which is the summer season. The attitude of the sea will be calmer and there will be more fishing activities. Thus, we will have a consistent supply of fish until the next closed fishing season,” Briguera said.
He also underscored the livelihood transformation program of BFAR, led by DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and Agri-industrialization Cheryl Marie Caballero, which introduces aquaculture as alternative sources of income for hog raisers affected by the African swine fever outbreak.
“We are diversifying our food options as we are positioning to be a more food secure nation,” he said, adding that the initial fish pens sponsored by its local government units and BFAR will start producing adult fish in four months.
High volume of fish unloaded
On Wednesday, the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority-NFPC (PFDA-NFPC) shared that they have unloaded 9,506.81 metric tons (MT) of aquaculture, marine, and frozen fish products to different markets in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The quantities unloaded per sector for the first two weeks of March were aquaculture (1,480.88 MT), marine (5,743.44 MT), and frozen fish products (2,282.49 MT).
Based on previous reports, PFDA-NFPC maintained its increasing fish supply. By the end of the month, PFDA-NFPC is looking forward to surpassing its own record of 12,404.4 MT in January and the 15,384.9 MT in February.
Galunggong topped the unloading tally, followed by bangus, tilapia, tulingan, and tamban, for March. (PNA)