The Provincial Board (PB) committee-level investigation into the reported exorbitant fish prices in various areas in Bohol is set to continue tomorrow, two weeks after the initial probe.
Members of the PB’s committee on agriculture led by Board Member Abeleon Damalerio will again hold the inquiry at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan conference room.
Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) administrator Benjie Oliva was invited to join the probe to elaborate on his previous claim that a cartel has been controlling fish prices in the province.
Oliva’s presence was requested after Board Member Tomas Abapo Jr. raised the former’s statement before the committee during the first inquiry on October 10.
However, Provincial Agriculturist Larry Pamugas had previously denied the existence of a fish cartel in the province.
Department of Trade and Industry 7 director Aster Caberte likewise debunked the claim asserting that supply shortage has driven the increase in fish costs.
Meanwhile, leaders of fishing groups in various towns are also expected to join the investigation including Andres Moreno of the United Tabalong Fish Association, Edilberto Bacamante of the United Songculan Fish Association, Fe Alamo of Panglao Fish Market Association sa Panglao and Elmer Chavez of Bohol Ring Netters Association.
Loay Municipal Market Administrator Christopher Mahinay and Marietta Corales, president of the Consumer Watch Bohol Inc. are also said to be present tomorrow.
In the first round of the investigations, other resource persons have posited to the SP committee that the several layers of middlemen have been a chief factor behind the expensive fish in Bohol. (Rey Tutas)