Galunggong importation is a ‘band-aid solution’
Buhay Representative Lito Atienza, the senior deputy minority leader, is puzzled why the government resorted to the importation of P1.4 billion worth of galunggong to stabilize fish prices, a move that he calls “a poor supply side intervention”.
“It is a band-aid solution that does not really address the problem of falling fish production. It is a miserable supply side intervention,” Atienza said.
Based on the estimates made by Department of Agriculture (DA), the 17,000 metric tons (MT) of imported galunggong is expected to have a landed cost of P75 to P80 per kilo and would be sold directly in local wet markets to help stabilize fish prices.
“What difference will 17 million kilos make? That is just equal to 17 million households consuming one kilo each in a day. Ubos na ‘yan sa loob ng isang araw lang,” Atienza said.
“The best way for the government to fight off rising fish or food prices for that matter is by producing more fish and more food,” he added.
Atienza explained that historically, if we look at other countries that produce large food supplies, they tend to have relatively stable inflation rates, regardless whether the price of crude oil is $50 or $100 per barrel.
To recall, inflation soared to a fresh five-year high of 5.7 percent in July, mainly due to food and non-alcoholic beverages posting a 7.1 percent annual rate of increase.
Atienza earlier said that Malacañang “ought to do a Boracay” on the municipal waters around Metro Manila and Luzon to revive fish production.