PAMALAKAYA calls for boycott of imported galunggong
Manila, Philippines – The militant fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) is calling the local market vendors, consumers, and small fishers to boycott the imported galunggong (round scad) from China, and patronize ‘locally-sourced aquatic and marine products of small fishers’.
“We are calling for the Filipino people nationwide to boycott the imported galunggong from China, and declare the product as a ‘fish-ona non grata’ in all public markets,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a press conference held in Quezon City on Friday.
PAMALAKAYA said ‘fish-ona non grata’ was derived from a legal diplomatic term ‘persona non grata’ which means “unwelcome person.”
Ruel Araneta, member of PAMALAKAYA-Palawan, said that while the retail price of galunggong in the province is at P130 per kilo, farm gate price of the said species is at P45 to P60 per kilogram. Fisherfolk in Palawan fear that importation could further downgrade the farm gate prices.
“Pinangangambahan namin na sa pagpasok ng mga imported na galunggong, lalong mawawalan nang halaga ang mga huli naming isda. Tiyak na etsapuwera sa mga palengke ang huli namin dahil relatibong mas mura ang mga imported kesa lokal,” Araneta, a local fisherman involved in catching galunggong, said during the press briefing.
Araneta also lamented the three-month fishing ban for galunggong in Palawan, saying that despite the ban, commercial fishing vessels continue to encroach and conduct large-scale fishing expedition within the municipal waters and areas that are declared off season.
“Walang silbi ang fishing ban kung patuloy naman ang pagpasok at pangingisda ng mga commercial fishing vessels na umuubos ng isda sa dagat. Imposibleng makamit ang layunin nitong ipreserba at palakihin ang mga galunggong dahil ultimo mga semilya ay hindi ligtas sa malalaking lambat ng mga commercial fishing,” explained Araneta.
Citing the data of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), PAMALAKAYA said Palawan province comprises 92% of galunggong in the Navotas fish port, which are being supplied in the entire Metro Manila and other parts of Region IV-A.
Moreover, prices in Metro Manila have reached to more than P300 per kilo.
“The small fishermen are triple-whammy victims of the fishing ban, underpricing and exploitation and pending importation. This social injustice also victimizes poor consumers in the country. Various agencies should already be scrambling to probe this issue, but we are left marginalized and neglected,” Hicap said.
PAMALAKAYA announced that it would go market hopping to convince the consumers, retailers and fish vendors to reject the imported galunggong and other small pelagic fish, and patronize the fish products of local fisherfolk instead. ###