Shoppers check out canned goods at a supermarket in Quezon City, Sept. 11. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE canning industry needs to pay fair prices to the municipal fisherfolk keeping their factories supplied during the closed fishing season, an association of small fishermen said.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA said the price paid to fisherfolk for herring (tamban) used by the canneries should be about 70% of the retail price.

“This is one of the supports that our small fishers have always sought — for the government to intervene in the (pricing) system and remove the many layers of middlemen that manipulate farmgate and retail prices to unreasonable rates,” PAMALAKAYA Chairman Fernando L. Hicap said in a statement on Tuesday.

On Oct. 24, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) signed a memorandum of agreement with the Canned Sardines Association of the Philippines (CSAP), which is seeking to secure its supply of fish during the closed fishing season imposed on the waters of the Zamboanga Peninsula between Dec. 1 and March 1. The supply deal also covers Sorsogon.

The agreement allows selected registered municipal fisherfolk to supply the canneries.

“The retail price of tamban in Sorsogon ranges from P120-P130 per kilogram, thus the farmgate price should be not less than 70% of the retail price, which is favorable to producers,” PAMALAKAYA said.

The group is also seeking a significant rollback in fuel prices.

“The price of diesel in the past two weeks increased by P6-P8 per liter to an all-time high. Now oil companies are giving us a mere P1/liter decrease,” PAMALAKAYA Spokesman Ronnel S. Arambulo said.

“The Marcos administration can pursue doable measures to stabilize oil prices through the suspension of the excise tax on fuel products, reversing the deregulation of the oil industry through the repeal of Oil Deregulation Law, and the immediate rollout of production subsidies to the marginalized,” it said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave