'Nalunod ang isda?' Pacquiao hits DA's excuse on fish shortage

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2022 04:13 PM

Presidential candidate Sen. Manny Pacquiao has described as a lousy excuse the Department of Agriculture’s claim that Typhoon Odette has caused a fish shortage in the country.

The shortage is the reason the agency is planning to import 60 metric tons of small pelagic fishes like galunggong (round scad), sardines, and mackerel.
 
Pacquiao, who hails from one of the world’s biggest sources of tuna, said the DA's claim is baseless since the fish the agency are referring did not come from aquaculture farms. 

He said the fish the agency wants to import are typically harvested from the high seas or in areas known as pelagic zones.

“Alangan naman na nalunod yung mga isda dahil sa bagyo kaya may shortage? Yung mga galunggong na gusto i-import ng DA ay hindi nahaharvest sa mga baklad o mga fishpens na maaari sana nating sabihin na nasira dahil sa bagyo. Sa dagat mismo nahuhuli mga 'yan kaya napakalaking kalokohan itong paliwang nila kung bakit gusto nilang mag-import,” Pacquiao said.

(Did the fish drown due to the storm? The fish DA wants to import do not come from fishpens that may have been damaged by the storm. They come from the sea which is why using this as a reason to import is a sham.)

Instead of resorting to short-term solutions such as fish importation which will hurt local fishermen, Pacquiao said Agriculture Secretary William Dar should extend assistance to local fishermen to increase their harvest.

He the DA can provide local fishermen with interest-free loans so that they can buy bigger fishing boats and modernize their fishing methods. 

Pacquiao said the country has a vast potential to become one of the world’s leading marine and aquatic products exporters because of its archipelagic nature.

“Napapaligiran ng dagat ang Pilipinas kaya napakalaki ang potential ng ang fishing industry. Kailangan lang talaga nating tulungan ang ating mga mangingisda para naman kaya nilang makipagsabayan sa mga mangingisda ng ibang bansa gaya ng Taiwan, China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia at Malaysia. Tulungan natin dapat sila hindi yung papahirapan pa sa pamamagitan ng importation,” he said.

(The Philippines is surrounded by seas which is why it has huge potential in the fishing industry. We just have to help our fishermen so they can compete with their counterparts from Taiwan, china, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. Don't add to their problems by bringing in fish imports.)