The glory days of middlemen in the Philippine fishing industry are numbered.
That is according to Department of Agriculture (DA) Underscretary Eduardo Gongona.
Gongona also the Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said that the DA is looking into the establishments of cooperatives of fishermen so that they would not anymore rely on the middlemen to market their fish catch.
Gongona said that middlemen whom he calls the “in-between” gains big profit citing Metro Manila where retail prices of fish are more than double from what the middlemen had bought at whosale from the fishermen.
The price of galunggong (roundscad) is the best example.
“We have to lessen the in between, sa Manila na lang yung whosale ng galunggong is 70-80 pesos, why are they selling that at more than double? 160-180 pesos, para bang unfair because the in-between is moving their hand,” Gongona said yesterday in the press conference of the National Coastal Fisheries Summit at Radisson Blu.
Gongona got the nod of Tuburan Mayor Democrito “Aljun” Diamante, the President of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP-Cebu Chapter) who also bared in the forum the integrated fisheries production and anti-illegal fishing campaign of their town.
LMP national President Ma. Fe Brondial was also present as the LMP supported the summit after it also commited to the recent re-launch of the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK) Search for the Most Outstanding Coastal Community of the DA.
Gongona announced that aside from a Presidential Award, a P30 million worth of livelihood project awaits the 2019 winner.
The town of Laguindingan in Misamis Oriental won last year and got the award from President Rodrigo Duterte himself in Malacanang.
The National Fisheries Summit is ably supported by Rare (Philippines) which is strongly pitching for a Fish Forever campaign by suppporting the 1.6 million coastal fishermen in the country.
It aims to have a holistic campaign of fish production and livelihood sustainability by having managed accessed area (MAA) in a town.
The MAA will be the fishing ground of the fishermen which is within the 15 kilometer radius of the municipal waters, Rocky Sanchez-Tirona, Rare Phils. Vice President said.
Sec. Noel Felongco, lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) is among the panelists of the summit.
NAPC plays a key role as sustainable livelihood for coastal fisherfolks is one of the anti-poverty programs of the Duterte administration.