After failed attempts to “flood Bohol with fish” and unfulfilled promises to finally address the province’s perennial fish price woes, a barangay in Tagbilaran took it upon itself to secure fish supply from other provinces so its residents may have access to cheaper seafood.
According to Poblacion I Barangay Captain Arlene Karaan, she has coordinated with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) IX to facilitate the transportation of fish from Zamboanga City to Tagbilaran City through the agency’s “Oplan Isda.”
“Ni request ko sa BFAR nagpadala ko og sulat aron makatilaw mo og isda na barato,” she said.
The regular fish supply mostly includes galunggong and matambaka which are sold at around P130 to P140 per kilo.
Karaan noted that she plans to arrange the shipment when prices of fishes in the city are expected to soar.
“Akong plano kung magnihit ang isda nato pareha anang buwanon, pwede to siya ipedeliver diri. Aron kung ang atong isda diri tag P200, makatilaw gihapon atong mga taw sa tag P140 bisag buwanon,” said Karaan.
The first shipment which contained 1,500 kilos of galunggong and matambaka arrived in the city last week, the BFAR confirmed.
However, Karaan noted that only a few people were able to buy the shipped fish because there was abundant locally caught fish in the city at the time.
The rest of the supply was instead sold in Cebu, she added.
In an earlier statement, BFAR Regional Director Isidro Velayo Jr. said that “Oplan Isda” is aimed to establish a strong direct link between the producers and the sellers of fish commodities and provide additional supply at an affordable price in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other areas of the country.
Velayo said the project was launched in collaboration with the Fisherfolk Cooperative of Basilan province to supply Small Pelagic Fish for Metro Manila and Bohol markets.
There had been multiple attempts to address the province’s longstanding problem with exorbitant fish prices through various government officials.
One of the more prominent efforts was that of former agriculture secretary Manny Piñol who vowed to “flood Bohol with fish.”
Piñol initially started the Bohol Fish Market and TienDA Fair and Exhibits in which he oversaw the delivery of some five tons of fish from Zamboanga City in August 2018.
The program however was not sustained.
Governor Art Yap, after assuming his post as chief executive in 2019, said that he had tapped the private sector to help increase fish supply in the province as temporary means to alleviate the province’s fish woes.
This also did not materialize. (A. Doydora)