Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Sunday advised the public to look for other sources of protein from fish as the price of round scad or galunggong
, dubbed the poor man’s fish, had been soaring.
He told GMA News the public could substitute tilapia
and milkfish for galunggong
, which were relatively cheaper but also a good source of protein.
sources ng protein, mas mura pa, ‘yung tilapya at bangus
. The same protein ay mas marami pa rito kesa galunggong,” he said.
Meanwhile the Philippine Statistics Authority says the poverty incidence in the Philippines has declined as more Filipinos were lifted out of poverty in 2018.
On Friday, the agency set the poverty threshold, or the amount needed to sustain a family of five, at P10,727 for 2018, marking an increase of 13.5 percent from the P9,452 poverty threshold set in 2015.
Dar said one kilo of tilapia cost P120 to P130, while a kilo of bangus cost only P150.
“Ako mas gusto na bibili ng tilapya at bangus kesa galunggong. Wala namang problema ang tilapya basta maganda ‘yung areas where they are raising it,” he said.
At the Mega Q Mart on Thursday, not a single fish stall was selling galunggong because its price had increased from P150 to P300 per kilo.
On Sunday morning, only one vendor was selling galunggong at the Bulungan Fish Market in Parañaque City. The fish was being sold at P240 to P260 per kilo.
Agriculture spokesman Noel Reyes said the price increase could be attributed to the closed fishing
season, where fish had started to lay eggs and harvesting was no longer allowed.
“At the same time, mataas ang demand this Christmas season. Twice as much. Pangatlo, malamig ang karagatan. So ang mga isda, lumalayo.
Therefore ‘pag lumalayo, hinahabol ng ating mga mangingisda. Mas malaking gastos, logistics cost,” Reyes said.
The rising price of galunggong may already be the result of manipulation by unscrupulous traders, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said Friday.
To increase the supply, Dar said the government had already allowed the importation of 45,000 metric tons of galunggong.
Galunggong imports, he added, may come any time.