BFAR starts drafting guidelines for galunggong importation
The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) already started drafting the guidelines for the forthcoming importation of 17,000 metric tons (MT), which is now being questioned by a group of fishermen.
“DA-BFAR assures that the importation and unloading activities will adhere to a stringent set of guidelines and will be strictly monitored by the BFAR and Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA),” BFAR said in a statement.
“More importantly, general consuming public is assured that the imported galunggong will be unloaded only in BFAR accredited cold storage facilities and will undergo thorough inspection to ensure that the fish commodity that will enter Philippine markets are safe and free of harmful substances,” it added.
The importation of galunggong shall take effect on September 1, 2018 and shall be in effect until 90 days thereafter.
In the interest of the Filipino consumers and efforts to stabilize market prices and provide stable and affordable fisheries commodities, the DA has allowed the importation of fresh/chilled/frozen galunggong(round scad) for the purpose of augmenting the local supply in the fresh markets.
However, BFAR noted that this is not the first time that the Philippines have imported galunggong from other countries.
“The country has been, in fact, importing fresh/chilled/frozen fish and fishery/aquatic products including galunggong only for canning and processing purposes including importation undertaken by institutional buyers like hotels and restaurants as allowed by the law since years ago,” BFAR said.
The plan of the government to import galunggong didn’t sit well on some groups.
The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), for instance, is now humbly asking Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to withdraw the proposal because this could sabotage local catch.