agriculture and fisheries

DA bars restaurants, hotels from importing galunggong

Ralf Rivas
DA bars restaurants, hotels from importing galunggong

GALUNGGONG. A fish vendor sells round scad or galunggong at a market in Quezon City, August 17, 2018.

Rappler

The Department of Agriculture seeks to prevent imported galunggong and other certain fish species from being diverted to wet markets

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) tightened the rules for the importation of frozen round scad or galunggong and other certain fish species and their by-products to prevent supply from being diverted to wet markets.

The DA’s Administrative Order No. 11 suspended the issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearances (SPSICs) for institutional buyers of round scad, bonito, mackerel, and moonfish.

In effect, the order protects local fisherfolk selling produce in wet markets from cheaper imports that are meant for institutional buyers such as restaurants and hotels.

Institutional buyers can still import pompano and tuna by-products, but they have to meet certain requirements. These include a recording system that indicates the volume of fish delivered and corresponding dates of deliveries. They should also submit supply agreements or proof of contracts, among other documents.

In the same order, the DA suspended the issuance of SPSICs for round scad and moonfish for canning purposes.

SPSICs for round scad, bonito, mackerel, moonfish, pompano, and tuna by-products for processing purposes are also suspended, unless importers meet certain conditions and submit additional verification documents.

The DA’s move comes as authorities crack down on imported fish, particularly pink salmon and pompano, that are being sold in wet markets but are meant strictly for restaurant use.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) earlier enforced a 1999 issuance that outlawed the sale of pink salmon and pompano in wet markets. A probe into the enforcement of the ban was sought by the Ombudsman.

The BFAR has since backpedaled on the implementation of the ban amid pressure from lawmakers. – Rappler.com

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author

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.