PARTY-LIST group Bayan Muna filed a House resolution Monday seeking to investigate the effects of the government’s annual fish importation on the local industry.

House Resolution 2467 calls on the House committee on agriculture and food to look into the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) policy of allowing the entry of round scad, locally known as galunggong, to supposedly fill in supply gaps and stabilize market price. 

The resolution cited that there has been a huge jump in the importation of scad over the last four years, increasing from 17,000 metric tons (MT) in 2018 to 60,000 MT in 2021. 

The lawmakers said this increase in fish importation has become harmful to local fishermen and has even jacked up market prices.

The resolution also noted that agricultural groups such as the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya (PAMALAKAYA) and Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas have criticized this move by the DA and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. 

Last week, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate urged the DA to consider a price ceiling for round scad and other products as well as provide more relief to fisherfolk. — Jaspearl Emerald G. Tan