Fishers seek gov’t action on galunggong price hike
Manila, Philippines – Fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), along with peasant and urban poor groups under Anakpawis Party-list held a market protest at Bagong Silang, Caloocan Public Market today. This is to lament the sky-rocketing prices of galunggong (round scad), now ranging P240-P280/kilogram from its original retail price of P160/kilogram.
During the protest, PAMALAKAYA said the recent price hike of one of the country’s staple fish products is an added burden to ordinary consumers who are already bearing the brunt of inflation of other foods and basic commodities.
“Once a poor man’s fish, galunggong is no longer affordable to poor families courtesy of its unreasonable prices. With the prices of other foods such as rice, vegetables, and meat products rising, ordinary consumers who have yet to recover from the crises of pandemic have now nothing to choose from to eat a decent meal,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.
The fishers’ group demanded the government to aid and support small fishers by directly procuring their products, and eventually bring the fishery products affordable in the market. This way, PAMALAKAYA furthered, the fish won’t have to pass through “unscrupulous fish traders” and would go directly to the market on a reasonable price.
Attesting that there is “manipulation” of market prices, PAMALAKAYA explained that fishery and marine products pass through around four to five middlemen or private traders, who secure their profits by jacking up the retail price, and before it even reaches the market.
“We demand a government support for small fishers in the same way that hog raisers have been subsidized to address the pork shortage and its unprecedented price increase. Our demand will give the small fishers decent income and at the same time will give consuming public an affordable price of fish,” Hicap ended. ###
Members of Pamalakaya and Anakpawis protest against rising prices of galunggong and food products at a public market in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City.