Another batch of photos showing low prices of fish in another province has circulated over social media and left Boholanos in awe.
The photos which were posted by Radyo Bandera Dumaguete were shared over 5,000 times and drew hundreds of comments from netizens, many of whom were Boholanos who have long been plagued by exorbitant fish prices.
Based on the post, fish such as tamban, borot-borot and tamarong ranged from P60 to P180 at a public market in Dumaguete City, the provincial capital of the neighboring Negros Oriental.
In contrast, these fish varieties cost between P200 to P280 in the island-province of Bohol.
The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) price monitoring division in Negros Oriental on Monday confirmed to the Chronicle that the prices posted on Facebook were the prevailing prices in Dumaguete City.
According to DTI Negros Oriental consumer welfare officer Glen Villamil, fish prices in Dumaguete City and the rest of the province have been consistently low due to abundant supply from their local fishermen.
“Ang uban [isda] dalhon nalang sa Cebu, kay ang supply nato diri sa Dumaguete—although mo consume ta og pila ka tonilada daily—daghan ra gihapon. Although taas ang demand diri, ubay-ubay pud ang source nato,” said Villamil.
On top of the abundant supply, he said that the DTI and other concerned government offices and agencies implement strict price monitoring.
He noted that they also keep prices of other agricultural products such as rice in check to keep these low.
“Mga taw gikan og Cebu manglabang diri, diri mangompra og dili ra [isda], tanan, hasta bugas diri daghan jud og supply unya atong monitoring sakto ra pud para walay overpricing,” he said.
“Kung mahibaw-an namo na mag overpricing, e-sanction dayon namo,” he added.
According to Villamil, middlemen also purchase fish in bulk and resell these in markets but still at “reasonable” prices.
“Naa man puy middlemen diri, like for example fish carriers ila na ng gipakyaw, pero reasonable ra gihapon ang presyo,” he said.
In Bohol, authorities have pinpointed the existence of several layers of middlemen as one of the chief factors behind expensive fish in the province.
Villamil added that they also seldom receive fish supply from Mindanao which further plunges prices in their markets.
“Usahay mag-abot ng local ug mga fish carrier from Mindanao so musamot ka barato ng isda nato diri,” he said.
In May this year, photos of fish prices at the Old Public Market in Puerto Prinsesa also went viral over social media and caught the attention of Boholanos.
The prices were so low that some netizens from Bohol were in disbelief, but Puerto Prinsesa acting market superintendent Joseph Carpio dispelled doubts as he confirmed that these were the “normal” fish prices in the city.
The issue on expensive fish has been a perennial problem for Bohol which remains unresolved.
It has launched several inquiries from various government agencies and bodies including the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Governor Art Yap, when he took over as governor in 2019, vowed that Bohol will have abundant fish supply and Boholanos will be able to purchase aquamarine products at low prices before his first term ends. (A. Doydora)