TAGBILARAN CITY – “Tulingan,” said to be a poor man’s source for viand since it’s once considered an inferior kind but now it’s price tag appears superior. It’s priced at PhP200 per kilo and sold along Tagbilaran-Dauis junction fish mart just a day after Christmas day. But it’s price tag is pegged at PhP180 at causeway, BNT learned. Other species sold during the same day include few kilos of small squids and Bangus (milk fish) at PhP180/kilo and PhP160/kilo, respectively.
These were the only sea harvest from “lab-asira” through “angkat” scheme sold during the same day since most fishermen spent Christmas holiday, too, the vendor said. In other public markets in this city, such as Manga, Cogon and satellite also sold a slight difference but also fewer display of fish.
Why high price?
A vendor (name withheld) admitted that since they just borrow capital thru “five-six” scheme from loan sharks to be paid everyday, they have no other option but sell fish they’ve got thru “angkat” at a higher prices to keep them afloat.
Other consumers put the blame on commercial fishing that said to be controlling the trade in Bohol. Commercial fishers are said to catch fish to augment the inadequate supply of Bohol food requirement but appeared dodging from being caught since they’re fishing within the banned 15-km seawaters. Fishing vessels weighing more than 3 tons are considered commercial fishing based on the national law.
Almost all fish varieties being sold here are very costly whereas in some places, like in northern part, in the province prices are at a low level, BNT learned. Earlier, the commercial fishers wanted the Fishery Law (RA 8550) amended to allow them to fish within the forbidden seawater strictly reserved only for marginal fishermen that hardly can supply the requirement.
Among the measures enacted is the creation by Gov. Edgar M. Chatto of the Provincial Price Coordinating Council (PPCC). He issued on November 23, 2010 the Memorandum-Circular to all municipal mayors to also form their respective Municipal Price Coordinating Councils (MPCCs) and Bagsakan Centers based on RA 7581, “An Act Providing Protection to Consumers by Stabilizing the Prices of Basic Necessities and Prime Commodities by Prescribing Measures against Undue Price Increases during Emergency Situations.”
Among other measures include (a) provide inputs fund subsidy or fund infusion to fishermen during lean season; (b) conduct monitoring of prices at landing centers;(c) implement price tag law by deputizing competent people to implement it; (d) organize and inventory of fisherfolk cooperatives; (e) promote inland freshwater fishery at household level with BFAR support; and (f) improve and develop more marine protected areas (MPA) or fish sanctuaries.
There are now more than a hundred existing MPAs in 30 coastal towns, Provincial Agriculturist Office said earlier.