THE importation of round scad, or galunggong, will affect the livelihoods of 1.5million fisherfolk, according to Senator Cynthia A. Villar, who chairs her chamber’s committee on agriculture and food.
“There is a need to help fisherfolk to produce more fish rather than import. Imports compete with the fish sold by one and a half million fisherfolk using municipal waters, who are very poor,” Ms. Villar told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of the 14th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition in Mandaluyong.
“We should not always think of importing, we should think of empowering our fisherfolk to produce more,” Ms. Villar added.
Agriculture secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said that the Philippines has long been importing round scad to augment supply during the closed fishing season between November and March, noting that 130,000 metric tons of the fish was imported in 2017.
“We have been importing,” he said, while downplaying the idea of “Chinese galunggong, Taiwan galunggong, Vietnamese galunggonggalunggong doesn’t have nationality,” Mr. Piñol said.
The closed fishing season is implemented to allow fish stocks time to regenerate. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio