Government action on “rising” galunggong prices pressed

Government action on “rising” galunggong prices pressed

Manila, Philippines — As prices of galunggong (round scad) skyrocketed to an average of P280/kilogram, a group of small fisherfolks is calling on the government to control the market price by declaring a price ceiling on the fish product, which is considered as a “poor man’s fish”.

“The once poor man’s fish is unaffordable to the poor any longer. Its recent price surge adds another burden to poor consumers who are already bearing the brunt of food and commodity price hikes,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

The fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) laments that while galunggong’s retail price is high, its farm gate value on the other hand, remains very low.

“While the average retail price of galunggong is at P280/kg all-time high, its farm gate value remains P60/kg all-time low, leaving both small fishers and poor consumers at disadvantage. There is clearly a manipulation of its market price,” Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon decried.

The fishers’ group explained that fishery and marine products pass through around 4-5 middlemen or private consignation, who secure their profits by jacking up, and eventually pushes up the retail price in the market.

PAMALAKAYA calls on the government to “seriously consider” the implementation of price ceiling for galunggong and other fishery products as stated in the Price Act.

Republic Act 7581 or the Price Act, provisions Automatic Price Control against illegal price manipulation, including profiteering or the sale or offering for sale of any basic necessity or prime commodity at a price grossly in excess of its true worth.

“We call for immediate and decisive government action on this unreasonable inflation of one of poor Filipinos’ staple fish products,” ended Hicap. ###

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