The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) reassured the public of sufficient fish supply and stable fish prices for the rest of the Holy Week despite increased demand.
Citing the agency’s latest monitoring report, DA-BFAR spokesperson Nazario C. Briguera on Wednesday, April 5, said marine commodities such as galunggong, bangus, and tilapia remain abundant in retail and wholesale markets in Metro Manila.
“Walang dapat ipag-alala ang ating mga kababayan na mangingilin at hindi kakain ng karne ngayong Semana Santa dahil sapat po ang suplay ng isda sa ating fish ports at mga palengke (Our countrymen who will abstain from eating meat this Holy Week have nothing to worry about because of sufficient fish supply in our ports and markets),” he said, allaying fears of
a supply shortage following the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro.
A predominantly Catholic nation, the Philippines will observe this year’s Holy Week from April 2 to 9, when most Filipinos abstain from eating meat and opt for seafood.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that fish production in Oriental Mindoro in 2022 was estimated at 3,119 metric tons (MT), which accounted for some 0.07% of the country’s overall fish production of 4.33 million MT that year.
Briguera stressed that while the DA-BFAR is not downplaying the impact of the unprecedented oil spill in the country’s marine resources, the Bureau remains confident that other fishing grounds will continue to meet the public demand.
“We neither expect a shortage nor a sudden jump in prices of fish on a national scale. Relief and livelihood assistance and various government interventions have been in place to contain the situation in Oriental Mindoro. Kami man sa DA-BFAR ay naglunsad ng mga programa para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga mangingisdang apektado ng oil spill doon (The DA-BFAR launched various programs to address the needs of fisherfolk affected by the oil spill),” he said.
Based on the latest price monitoring of the DA-BFAR, fish prices range from Php120 to Php240 per kilo.
Local-fresh galunggong are priced at Php140 and Php240 per kilo in wholesale and retail
markets, respectively. Imported-frozen galunggong costs around Php130 per kilo.
Bangus prices range from Php130 to Php160 per kilo, while tilapia are priced at Php120 to Php150.
Price change might be influenced by the source area of the commodity, according to the
DA-BFAR. “Patuloy po tayong gumagawa ng mga hakbang upang masiguro ang fish sufficiency sa
ating bansa. Hangad po namin ang mataimtim at payapang Semana Santa para sa ating lahat ngayong taon (The DA-BFAR has been taking measures to ensure fish sufficiency in our country. We are hoping for a solemn and peaceful Holy Week this year),” Briguera said.