“Task Force Isda” which was created by Gov. Aris Aumentado to address Bohol’s perennial fish woes will start in October the implementation of measures designed to bring down the province’s exorbitant fish prices.
Provincial Administrator Aster Caberte, following a meeting with the task force on Wednesday, said they have been collating data and gathering information that would help the government come up with policies that will finally lower the prices of fish in the island province.
The task force, which is led by the provincial government’s executive assistant on agriculture Ricardo Oblena, has also enlisted the aid of various agencies and local government units to help enforce the pending measures.
“Diha pud sa meeting ang president sa atong League of Municipalities sa Bohol, si Mayor Duallo. Kay manginahanglan man gyud ta og tabang ani sa atong mga mayor sa pag implementar labina ang mga coastal towns,” said Caberte.
Task Force Isda was launched by Aumentado earlier this month as an answer to the public’s clamor to address the longstanding problem on expensive fish.
Caberte said they have gained massive support from the public and industry stakeholders in their efforts.
She also noted the need to pass legislation and other “enabling issuances” that would further strengthen the government’s campaign.
“We’re moving forward. We’re getting the cooperation of everybody in the scheme of things. Hopefully maka tilaw na ta og isda na barato
However, Caberte admitted that solving the issue would not be easy.
She said it would be difficult to change something that has long been embedded as part of the local economic dynamics.
“Lisod man diay, lisod g’yud. Mura man gud og for the longest time, entrenched na siya na mao na gyud na ang pamaagi. So we are trying to break it, naay resistance, naay hesitance,” said Caberte.
Among the measures raised by Caberte is a possible executive order or ordinance that would “discourage” fishermen to sell all their products outside of Bohol.
“Kung maghilanglan ba gyud na og legislation, atong studyohan og unsa ang atong pagabuhaton,” Caberte said.
The provincial government has also coordinated with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other agencies to help come up with means to lengthen the “shelf life” of fish.
Caberte added that they are also eyeing the implementation of a standard retail price for fish in each locality.
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.
Former 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)