In Palawan, farmgate price of galunggong drops to P30/kg – PAMALAKAYA
Taytay, Palawan – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Thursday said that farmgate price of galunggong (round scad) in Palawan province has dropped down from P60 per kilogram to P30 per kilogram, after the imported same fish products have entered the local markets this year.
In a statement sent to media outfits, PAMALAKAYA’s provincial chapter in Palawan asserts that the ‘drastic decrease’ of farmgate price was due to the importation of galunggong from China. Last year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) approved importation of at least 45, 000 glaunggong and other pelagic fish in response to the skyrocketing retail price and alleged shortage.
PAMALAKAYA actively opposed this measure as it would be ‘disadvantageous to the small fishers and poor consumers’.
“This is the sum of all our fears; we’ve never failed to remind the government that importation of fish would further pull down the farmgate price, and that it would not guarantee stabilization of market price. But our collective clamor seems to fall on deaf ears,” Annalie Delos Santos, PAMALAKAYA-Palawan Chairperson said in a statement.
“While the average retail price of galunggong remains at P170-P200/kilogram, its farmgate value has dramatically dropped to P30/kilogram all time low, leaving small fishers at the losing end,” decried Delos Santos.
The fisherfolk leader added that fish traders in the province have been manipulating the farmgate price by deceiving the small fishers that their catch could not be travelled to Manila due to spoilage, thus forcing them to sell their fish at a very low price out of desperation. But PAMALAKAYA maintains that 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.
The group demanded the government to intervene by imposing a price control to private traders that would be ‘reasonable and beneficial’ to local producers, as well as control to retail price that will not burden ordinary consumers.
PAMALAKAYA, since 2018, spearheaded the campaign and protest actions against importation of galunggong and other fish species. The progressive group maintains its call for the consumers and small vendors to boycott the imported fish products and patronize the fish products of local fisherfolk, instead. ###