Don’t belittle ‘GG’: It’s now imported


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“Galunggong,” or round scad, once considered the poor man’s fish, is now among the marine products the Philippines is importing.

Part of the country’s galunggong supply now comes from either China or Taiwan, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Fish accounts for 80 percent of the animal protein intake of Filipinos, who each eat 28 kilos of fish annually.

BFAR Director Asis Perez said the agency and the Department of Agriculture were compelled to open the domestic market to imported fish because of the declining fish catch.

The national stock assessment program of BFAR shows that 10 of the 13 fishing grounds that were mapped are “very heavily exploited.” These areas have more than 70 fishermen per square kilometer.

Only the Pacific seaboard and Macajalar Bay in northeastern Mindanao have an abundant fish supply, Perez said.

“These areas are not overexploited yet. The rest needs to be fixed because there is an indication of a decline,” he said yesterday on the sidelines of a forum on environment at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.

Because the Philippines is struggling to meet the demand for fish the government is keen on “formalizing” fish importation, Perez said.

About 900,000 metric tons of imported fish enter the country every year, he said. Most of the imports are for institutional buyers who process seafood.

However, some fish like galunggong, “tulingan” (frigate tuna or Auxis thazard), and “hasa-hasa” (short-bodied mackerel) end up in the wet markets too, Perez said.

Sources of protein

These fish species, which are known to be cheap sources of protein, come from China and Taiwan, he noted.

Fish production in the Philippines is estimated at 6 million MT a year. About 55 percent comes from aquaculture and the rest is caught in the seas. Of the aquaculture production, 40 percent is fish. Seaweeds account for the rest, Perez said.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala recently said the Philippines would have to formally open its market to fish from abroad.

Alcala noted that the sector’s production was declining and that processing plants needed raw materials for their exports.

Import quota

Perez said there would be a quota for imported fish to limit the amount to be sold in the wet markets.

In 2011, the fisheries subsector’s performance was dismal. The agriculture department said the subsector, which accounted for 20.7 percent of the total agriculture output, contracted by 4.1 percent.

“Commercial and municipal fish catch declined due to overfishing, illegal fishing, and rough seas and strong winds during the second semester caused by several typhoons,” the agriculture department said.

To remedy overfishing, the department imposed a closed season on species like tuna and sardines, the country’s two major fish exports.

Poverty among fishers

The activist fisherfolk group, Pamalakaya, meanwhile, has asked the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to investigate the incidence of poverty in small fishers and the destruction of the country’s fishing grounds.

“We collectively send this strong appeal to officials of the UN FAO to come to the Philippines and have a self-discovery on why small-scale fisherfolk belong to the poorest of the poor in the country. The reality check can be found and heard from the voices from the grassroots,” said Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.

Hicap said the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, Oliver de Schutter, should investigate the various projects that could destroy the livelihood and fish supply of Filipino fishers.

In a consultation with FAO officials Monday, Pamalakaya said about 300,000 fish workers in the country worked like slaves inside aquaculture farms and aboard commercial fishing vessels.

The group said fish workers were receiving an average of P200 a day way below the minimum wage of P427.

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  • luwii

    this is so ironic. for a country surrounded by sea, we need to import FISH from other countries.

    • Thelma Marisol

      Mismo. Pati bigas?

  • Zen

    yet again we lose to our neighbors every time we import. these chinese are probably fishing near, if not, in our waters, armed with their long-haul fishing boats, while our fishermen haplessly look from their bancas that can’t go any farther from the shore. How about the DAR offering financial assistance to our fishing cooperatives to get long-haul boats? This will make us competitive, not just helpless buyers of imports. The key to our progress is really to sell not buy. 

  • kismaytami

    It only happened after Gloria Arroyo sold our seas to the Chinks.

  • philcruz

    Ironic! 7,100 tropical islands and we have to import fish!

  • dead_pixel

    Dahil sa kab0b0han, kayabangan, katamaran ng retarded ay seguradong lulubog ang bansa natin sa kahirapan!


  • Jamjam

    Indeed, very ironic para sa isang bansang sagana sa yaman sa kalikasan.

  • goldilock

    One pound of that fish cost $ 2.50 – 2.80 dollars. About 3 fish. See how Philippines can improve the lives of fisherman by exporting this kind of fish. Protect your 200 mile fishing territory. Coast guard should deny clearance of foreign trawler from harvesting this fish inside your economic zone. Modern fishing ships harvest this fish by millions and once the ship docks, it is already inside boxes and cans ready to ship to groceries.

  • bitoypalaboy

    BFAR you are not doing your job.  Go to a public wet market and you will see a juvenile galunggong measuring about 5 to 7 inches.  It only shows that you are not regulating the fishing industry.  As par as i know in one of your regulations you specifically set a standard with the size of a fishing nets.  Those juvenile GG’s i’ve seen are not yet ready for harvest.  BFAR if you only do your job we wont have problems with GG’s.  Now we got out GG’s from China and Taiwan who probably poach on our waters and in return sell it to us.  Mga punyeta kayo mag trabaho naman kayo!

    • lito santiago1

      May puntos ka diyan kabayan, dapat talaga may regulation, puro nagpapalaki ng mga tiyan ang mga yan. Saka dapat talaga mayron tayong mga navy or police na tumitingin sa mga nanghuhuli ng isda pati sa mga port para don pa lang mahuli na ang mga to kapat ang isda na dala nila ay maliliit pa ng di na gayahin pa. Hoy gobyerno gising !!!! wala na tayong isdang mahuli kailan pa kayo kikilos.

  • palaris

    so now we are importing tropical fishes which are supposedly ours in the first place because most probably they are being caught inside our exclusive economic zone by countries which are not even in the tropics..

  • goldilock

    Philippines have a wide 200 mile maritime economic territory. You should have this kind of fish in billions. China and Taiwan don’t need to import this fish to Philippines, unless they fish in your territorial waters and make it look they are importing it.

  • MarcoAgustin

    “We collectively send this strong appeal to officials of the UN FAO to
    come to the Philippines and have a self-discovery on why small-scale
    fisherfolk belong to the poorest of the poor in the country. The reality
    check can be found and heard from the voices from the grassroots,” said
    Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap.  – PAMALAKAYA is turning a blind eye to dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing, illegal fishing methods etc . Why don’t you educate your members about proper fishing methods?  Pati-bubwit na isda hinuhuli nila …tapos itatapon rin pero tepok na. Kain ngayon tayo ng GG galing tsina …pwe pwe may melamine….

    • lito santiago1

      Tama ka diyan kabayan, yang mga militanteng mangingisda na yan ang mga umaabuso sa ating karagatan tapos sila tong  mareklamo. Kungdi ninyo ginamitan ng mga nakakalason na cyanide, dynamite, maliliit na butas na lambat at over fishing di sana tayo nag-iimport, it is about time to prosecute these criminals of the seas.

  • lito santiago1

    Kundi ba naman kayo mga, haay !!!!! Wala kayong pakialam na mga mangingisda. Puro kayo suyod ng suyod at kahit maliliit na isda hinuhuli nyo dapat kayo ipakain sa isda para bumalik ulit ang mga to. Over fishing, dynamite, cyanide and no police protecting our seas. Tama yan para magutom kayong mga abuso sa kalikasan. Kakain na lang ako ng bangus at tilapia. Iron fist to protect our  wide seas. Only in the Philippines kasi nga walang kwenta ang batas. Dapat pag nahuling nagdidinamita, patawan ng matinding parusa.

  • lito santiago1


  • BatangSingapore

    pinapatay talaga ng mga Intsik nila pati mga lokal nating mangingisda.  kailangan umaksyon na talaga tayong mga Filipino laban sa mga Intsik na ito na nagmamamiubra ng ating gobyerno.

    • bitoypalaboy

      Malas natin lahing intsik ang presidente natin. 

      • Guest

        ganyan din sa indonesia. hawak ng mga may dugong intsik ang military at commerce………

  • BatangSingapore

    huwag nyo tangkilikin yan mga imported na isda, bigas at kung ano ano pa.  tangkilikin ang sariling produkto o ani ng mga Filipino.  tapos yan mga negosyo ng mga Intsik na yan.  bwiset.

    • alan

      kulang na nga po sa supply, ano pa ang “sariling atin” na sinasabi nyo ang tangkilikin natin?  Ang tao kakain at kakain yan, kaya kung ubos na ang sariliing atin, natural pupunta dun sa mga imported goods.

      ano naman kaya ang ginawa ng BFAR para maresolbahan ang shortages ng seafoods?

      • BatangSingapore

        hindi naman talaga kulang. pinalalabas lang na kulang para makapasom ang imported.  parang sa issue din yan ng bigas dati.  PINABORAN LANG NILA MGA INTSIK AT PINAPATAY ANG LOKAL NA MERKADO.

    • Guest

      bakit sobrang dami ng mga intsik sa pinas,lalo na lately. ginangaan pagpasok sa bansa natin at maraming rotten sa kanila. shabu,sellers sa quiapo,smugllers…..abuso ng katulong ………malas na bayan ko mula pa sa kuwento ni rizal. mahusay sa lagayan mga intsik,palusutan at sila,sila lang nagtutulungan…… kayo ang mag hatol kung mali ako. tignan ninyo sa BATANGAS populasyon ng negosyanteng intsik….makabayan mga tao DYAN….

  • Hagler

    Before it was rice. Now the GG. Paurong , paatras, abnormal, walang direction, walang plano yan ang sistema ng pinas. Mayroon nga bang shortage o gumagawa lang ng pera itong mga hinayupak na taong gobyerno. Even the author of this article sees that anything imported should be not be belittled.

  • ehmoy

    In other words, walang sapat na supply, so nag-import na lang. Ang galing naman. Napakalupet ng ipinamamalas ng gobyerno.

  • pepengkabayo

    Noong panahon ni Cory Aquino, tumaas ang presyo ng Galunggong  na isdang pangMahirap.
    Ngayon panahon ni Pnoy Aquino, inImport ang Galunggong, naging isdang pangMayaman.

  • mike139

    Mas malaki ang kita sa imported na GG (custom inspection daw, bfar permit kuno, lagay k secretary and bossing, etc) kaysa tulungan ang mga mangingisda…. remember imported rice?…. 

  • riccardo80

    this is really because of over population, too many people fishing to feed too many mouths. see if the church can make fish multiply.  go pass the RH bill now!

  • Guest

    i think this is the product of hidden corruption. the biggest question is:WHERE ON EARTH THIS GALUNG_GONG COMES FROM??????never tell me along taiwanese or chinese territorial waters. who gave those big,modern trawlers to deplete our fisheries……not PCG. so many officers,crew,got budget but not sea worthy boats to patrol even manila bay???

  • Tatak_Nakaw_Arroyo

    Kaya dapat ipatapon na si GMA, ABALOS at CORONA SA muntinglupa dahil kung sila pa rin ang maghahari sa Pinas, baka pati lahat ng tao sa Pilipinas ay imported na rin.Wala ng tunay na pinoy na matitira sa Pilipinas.

  • SOre loser


  • Anne Torre

    How stupid, lazy and inactive are the BFAR and the DA are translated by this news report.

    Imagine a 7,100 islands country is importing fish from other countries? Our government is has really been sluggish since Cory’s time. A heave of breath was made during Ramos and Erap but was contracted by a coup d’etat. 

    Political partisanship and retribution are all that matters to the spoiled leader of today.

  • Daniel Marahomsar

    Asus..malay mo yung mga bibilhin sa labas nang Pinas eh galing din sa ating karagatan..

  • John_Lange

    What escapes notice is that Red Chinese fishing ships escorted by Red Chinese warships are plundering Philippine seas, processing or freezing the catch and then exporting Philippine fish to the same country they were stolen from.
    Red China has not discarded the Mongol tradition of conquest and plunder but only modernized it. Whether galunggong or islands like the Spratleys, Red China will grab what it fancies and terrorize you into docility with its military grossness.

  • Patas

    Overfishing by big foreign fishermen in our territorial waters (lack of patrol boats for years and patriotic/brave soldiers manning the borders)
    Dynamite and chemical fishing by our local folks (hindi nila inisip ang kinabukasan ng dagat at ng pamilya nila sa hinaharap) 
    No concern by our own people getting livelihood from the seas (kita mo ang tabing dagat na tinitirhan rin nila, maladas marumi, daming basura)
    Non-modernization of our fisherfolks to be able to go to much deeper part of the ocean (if cooperatives could be installed by these fishermen, have their own resources pooled, get a bigger and a bit modern boat; but this would not be possible as many of us prefers ”kanya-kanya na lang, sarili pa ang oras” attitude)

  • Rikki

    Is it Pamalakaya who said and compared Php 200 to Php 427 minimum wage? Or is it the author? Php427 wage is not for areas outside Metro Manila…

  • kabayandinako

    Ano ang pagiging class ng imported? Yan ang hirap sa Pinoy, pag imported na ang gamit at pagkain, very proud na. Kami dito sa North America kahit matatagal na dito pag nakakita kami ng kagamitan na gawa sa ibang Asian countries, mas proud kami na piliin ang gamit o pagkaing gawa sa Pinas kesa sa kanila. Ang ibang Pinoy dito di mo mapapabili ng pagkaing galing Taiwan o China. Hinahanap namin dito ang mga gawa dyan sa atin tulad ng suka, patis, bagoong, sardinas, frozen bangus at ibang isda, ketchup, sitsirya, at lahat ng nakagawian naming kainin noong mga bata pa kami. Pati mga anak namin at apo na dito ipinanganak ay sanay  sa gamit na gawa dyan sa atin. Sa ganoong paraan nakakatulong kami sa exporters na mga Pilipino para kumita at magpatuloy na magbigay ng hanapbuhay sa mga kababayan natin. Sabagay imported na rin dito ang made in the Philippines pero may dahilan kami kung bakit proud kami sa gamit na gawa dyan.

  • pepengkabayo

    Noong panahon ni Cory Aquino, tumaas ang presyo ng Galunggong  na isdang pangMahirap.Ngayon panahon ni Pnoy Aquino, inImport ang Galunggong, naging isdang pangMayaman.

    Naubos ang Galunggong dahil ang namamahala mga Gunggong.

    • Russell Ariola

      Sinabi mo pards. Halos sampung taong nakaupo si GMA pero wala syang ginawa kundi mangotong, mangulikta ng lagay, mangurakot at magpayaman galing sa pera ng bayan.

      Gunggong nga si pekeng pangulong pandak!

  • rosamistika16

    bakit nga naman mababa pasahod sa kanila? kung ang P427 nga ay napakababa na pano pa ang P200? Mga kapitalista, have pity on fishermen nman! bawasan nyo nman ang mga kita nyo pra sa knila….salamat po!

  • Russell Ariola

    Mapapansin nyo naman yung imported na GG. Mas makintab ang kulay at palahaba ng konti kung ihahambing sa GG natin.

  • dipakosigurado

    Pati ba galunggong naman…ay, oo nga pala another Aquino is in Malacanang…!

  • SOre loser

    What is happening with the Philippines’ “economic independence?” The country is already importing rice and footwear that were used to be our national products; now we are importing “galunggong” too? Filipino people should seriously start considering doing some “soul-searching” as to what kind of future they want the next Filipino generations to have—dependent or independent?
    The government has already devastated the rice and agricultural industry by allowing agricultural lands to be converted into cemeteries, subdivisions, and gated communities, when they could have just as easily utilized the countless hillsides unfit for farming, just like what the Japanese have been doing for years in order to conserve their most valuable resource—LAND. Now, with this ongoing development, the goverment is going to kill the fishing industry too by importing galunggong, instead of investing on our local fishermen’s ability and willingness to do the job by giving them a fighting chance through government subsidies: for instance, assisting them in acquiring more powerful fishing boats and stronger nets via the government’s financial aid.

    • Anne Torre

      The government is ignorant in organizing cooperatives among fishermen, train and supervise them then loan them modern fishing boats to attain modest or bigger catch. This government thought stupidly that giving dole-outs is better than creating jobs. Instead of modernizing farming and fishing, it becomes more occupied with brazen politics and retribution. P39 billion for dole-outs would be modest start for the job-creating, economy moving improvement in agriculture and fishery. But this Chinese-Pilipino President don’t have the brain for this. He prefers Pilipinos to import GG from China, his forefathers’ origin. Crass!

      • SOre loser

        The root cause as I see it is “behavioral.” Many Filipinos are going hungry because its own government (from past to present) seems to always depend on others to do the things its own people have the ability to do—just so it can make quick but short-term revenue, such as tariffs, etc. Sadly however, what the government fails to realize is that, by allowing its own people’s survival to become dependent upon outside sources, that is what its populace will end up being—DEPENDENT. Unfortunately, the government (and the Filipino society for that matter) seem to always underscore or undervalue its own ability to succeed—to a point that it appears the government does not want them to succeed for themselves. What is even worse is that, it appears that the government can’t seem to grasp the idea that its success depends on its people’s independent spirit. Hence, by always looking for a quick and easy way out notwithstanding the underlying long term ramification, the people never learn to understand their full potential.

      • Anne Torre

        Yopu are right. Principle and discipline are evaporating in the Philippines.

        I am focusing at fisheries and agriculture because these are the fields that the Pilipinos can do and succeed without depending on foreign investments or middlemen. But the government is thinking like a Third World forever. They don’t want people to be independent or to progress because they want to buy votes every election.

        In fisheries alone, can you see an outrigger in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea or Japan?

        Had the government been proactive, boats abandoned in Japan can be donated to the Philippines. Hundreds of fishing boats were left deserted in the tsunami ravaged area there. Maybe some of their owners perished from the tsunami. These boats can be negotiated for donations.

  • SOre loser

    What the government is trying to do is to generate tariff through importing goods. Generally speaking, under a regulated practice and transparent governance, this is not such a bad idea. However, considering the current Philippine government’s political status quo, those tariffs are only going to end up in someone else’s pockets—as had been in the past. And even if those tariffs are to be expended responsibly towards building infrastructures and providing various community outreach, the long term negative effect cannot and should not be ignored—that is, end up killing the local fishing industry. In the meantime, more and more Filipinos are losing their means of survival because of the government’s lack of foresight and concerns in regards to its constituents’ livelihood and future.

  • zoom_lens

    The Chinese are fishing our waters, harvesting our galunggongs, and selling it to us as IMPORTS!

  • Bryan Carpio

    Mas mabuti sa mahihirap yan kasi mas MURA ang imported galunggong. At kung pipiliting P427 ang sahod, mas maraming mahihirap ang mawawalan ng trabaho kasi magbabawas ng empleyado. Mas mabuti ang P200 kesa wala. Free trade results in more competition which results in more and better products in cheaper prices. Sa kabila, more regulation means less competition na humahantong sa mediocre products at mahal na presyo. More subsidies,more taxes. Mahihirap din ang PINAKA talo o panalo anuman ang piliin.

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