BFAR-7 steps up price monitoring
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-7) is now conducting daily monitoring on the prices of fish and other aquatic resources to prevent hoarding and price manipulation.
In a press statement, Florencio Aparri, head of BFAR-7’s Fisheries Production and Support Services Division, said that they are also tasked to determine if there is still enough supply to address the needs of the region and check the origin of these available supply.
Quoting the outcome of their assessment, Aparri said “there is no problem in the entry of fishery products – that means – there is sufficient supply of fishes here.”
Earlier on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, BFAR-7 inspected the fish market in Barangay Pasil in Cebu City that is one of the biggest fish markets in the region.
Aparri said that they used to do their inspectione once or twice a week. But since the declaration of a state of calamity in the country, the Department of Agriculture has ordered for a close monitoring of the prices of basic commodities including fish to avoid price manipulation and hoarding.
While there is an abundant supply of fish at the Pasil fish market, Aparri said that “the fish dealers and vendors at the Pasil fish market complained that fewer people are now buying their fishes.”
He said that oversupply resulted from travel restrictions imposed by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia.
Fish dealers or traders coming from Bohol province, for example, are now unable to source their supply from the Pasil fish market because they are now unable to travel to Cebu.
“Nagproblema karon ang retail sector. Naapektuhan sila tungod kay nihit gyud ang tawo nga mamalitay. Nahadlok siguro gyud sila (consumers). Nireklamo sila (fish vendors) tungod kay niminus na ilang ma-dispose sa usa ka adlaw,” he said.
(The retail sector is now faced with a dilemma. They now have very few buyers. Some of the consumers may be afraid. Fish vendors are now complaining because of the reduction in their sales.)
Aparri said that fish vendors have started to complain of losses. Instead of disposing 100 kilos per day, they are now left to dispose only 50 kilos per day.
“Ang uban mahurot ilang isda pero mokabat pa og duha ngadto sa tulo ka adlaw,” Aparri added.
(Some vendors will have to wait two to three days before they are able to sell all their fishes.)
He said that fish cannot be stored for a long time because it is a perishable commodity and vendors at the Pasil fish market do not have a huge storage facility for their fish.
To make sure that their fish do not go to waste, some vendors are forced to sell these at discounted prices.
“We just have to be resilient at these times. Agwanta lang sa gyud ta and hopefully, dili ra ni magdugay ug mobalik ra ta sa normal nga sitwasyon,” Aparri said. (We just have to hold on and hopefully this won’t last long and the situation will be back to normal.) /bmjo
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