‘Eat tilapia if you can’t have galunggong’ — Cynthia Villar
Senator Cynthia Villar on Tuesday said Filipinos can resort to eating other varieties of fish like tilapia if they cannot have galunggong (round scad).
Villar said this after Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol signed an administrative order in August that allows the importation of 17,000 metric tons of galunggong, to be sold in wet markets.
Authorities explained that the importation will address the rising prices and lack of supply of fish varieties in the market.
“Siguro walang galunggong, bakit ayaw mong kumain ng tilapia? Kung walang galunggong marami pa naman, ano pa ba, tilapia, bangus,” Villar said in jest during the Meet Inquirer Multimedia forum.
(Maybe if there is no round scad, why not eat tilapia? If there is no round scad, there are a lot of other options, what else, tilapia, milkfish.)
“I don’t know what his passion about galunggong is,” Villar said, referring to Piñol, when asked to comment on the Agriculture chief’s proposal to import that fish variety.
Villar noted that under the present rules, the government can only import fish for processing. She said the government cannot import galunggong “because it’s not for processing.”
Meanwhile, the senator said imported fish cannot be sold in wet markets to “protect the one and a half million small fisherfolks in the municipalities.”
The Department of Health earlier warned that galunggong imported from China could be tainted with formalin.
“I like galunggong, eh kung sasabihin eh may formalin pa ang galunggong, eh di sa tilapia na lang ako (but if they say galunggong has formalin, I would choose tilapia),” Villar said. /vvp
RELATED STORY: Villar: Filipinos can live without ‘galunggong’
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