^

Headlines

Senators hit agriculture execs over ‘detrimental’ fish imports

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Senators hit agriculture execs over âdetrimentalâ fish imports
Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, reminded DA and BFAR officials of her recommendations that instead of importation, they should just have suspended the closed season or “the period during which the taking of specified fishery species by a specified fishing gear is prohibited in a specified area or areas in the Philippine waters.”
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Senators chided officials of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for justifying the importation of 60,000 metric tons of fish to the detriment of the livelihood of fishermen in the country.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, reminded DA and BFAR officials of her recommendations that instead of importation, they should just have suspended the closed season or “the period during which the taking of specified fishery species by a specified fishing gear is prohibited in a specified area or areas in the Philippine waters.”

“My recommendation was instead of fish importation, just suspend the closed season. I am not knowledgeable on fisheries but that was the first I thought of. Now the NFARMC (National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council), that was their recommendation,” Villar told DA and BFAR officials.

Villar presided over a hybrid public hearing on the Senate resolution on the increase in the volume of importation of frozen fish and on importation of 60,000 MT of fish.

“Why is your mindset pure importation? When supply is not enough you think of importation, like when Odette struck. Why don’t you make programs?” Villar said.

She said Typhoon Odette did not obliterate fish supply, and that with their boats damaged, fishermen were not able to fish.

Sen. Imee Marcos questioned DA officials for ignoring recommendations of NFARMC for shorter closed fishing season, instead of importation.

Villar and Marcos pointed out that based on the fisheries code of 1998, before importing fish, DA must first consult with the multi-sectoral council which is DA’s highest advisory body.

DA Undersecretary for fisheries Sheryl Marie Caballero said as the chairman of NFARMC, she signed the council’s recommendation not to import, but the council is just a recommendatory body and it is the agriculture secretary who has the final say on the matter.

BFAR

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

FISH

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with