Labella orders temporary closure of Suba Fish Port, Pasil Fish Market
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Starting at midnight on May 3, 2020, both the Suba Fish Port and the nearby Pasil Fish Market will already cease to operate.
Mayor Edgardo Labella made his announcement to indefinitely suspend operations at the two trading posts late this afternoon and after the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) announced that 109 of the 119 coronavirus disease 2019 cases that were reported in Cebu City today came from Barangay Suba.
In a Facebook post at 6 p.m. today, May 2, Labella said that the indefinite closure of the fish port and the fish market “will give way to the massive disinfection, contact tracing, and COVID-19 testing activities of the Cebu City Government in the area.”
Councilors Jessica Resch and Eduardo Rama Jr. earlier called for the closure of the Suba Fish Port to especially secure occupants of the nearby Pasil Fish Market from the threats of the infection.
Mayor Labella stood his ground that there was no need to close the fish port for now.
The mayor’s decision changed after the release of the recent data from DOH-7 showing the 109 new cases of the infection in Barangay Suba. This time, he ordered not just the closure of the fish port but also of the nearby fish market that is located in the neighboring barangay Pasil.
Jonil Matuguina, head of the Cebu City’s Market Authority, told CDN Digital that the temporary closure of the Suba Fish Port and the Pasil Fish Market will not result in the increase in the prices of fish and other marine products.
The price freeze ordered by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) remains in effect, he said.
Matuguina said that Cebu City residents will not also be deprived of seafood because they can still buy their supplies from the Carbon Public Market.
He said that other buyers can still source their seafood from neighboring localities and at the Bagsakan Center of the Cebu provincial government that is located at the Cebu South Bus Terminal.
“Let us not immediately panic. This is just like any disaster or calamity, like typhoons or monsoons, that we expect a bit of decreased supply (in seafood). Anyway, the price for all commodities have been frozen by the Department of Trade and Industries (DTI), there is no reason why prices can go too high,” Matuguina told CDND in a phone interview.
He also urged the public to immediately report to their office the overpricing of seafood in any of the city’s public markets.
Suba Barangay Captain Joel Sable told CDN Digital that the closure of the fish port will displace 100 individuals who earn from its daily operation.
However, Sable said that with the presence of more than a hundred COVID-19 cases in his barangay, even fish port workers and vendors have already expressed their intention to just stay at home for now.
“Mismo sila dili na sila ganahan motinda,” he said.
(They have expressed their intention to already cease from selling for now.) / dcb
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