“Fewer people are allowed to go out from their homes to buy basic necessities and commodities. Some traders could hardly pass through borders because of the enhanced community quarantine. We fully support the measures imposed by the local government units but we are also asking their help to address the plight of our fishery stakeholders,” he said in a statement.
Cesar Ramirez, file
BFAR-7 to government execs: Help fishermen, vendors
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - April 1, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Central Visayas is appealing to local officials in the region to support the fishermen and fish traders who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

BFAR-7 Regional Director Allan Poquita said the fishery industry has been “crippled” by the pandemic following the imposition of travel and movement restrictions.

“Fewer people are allowed to go out from their homes to buy basic necessities and commodities. Some traders could hardly pass through borders because of the enhanced community quarantine. We fully support the measures imposed by the local government units but we are also asking their help to address the plight of our fishery stakeholders,” he said in a statement.

Poquita is asking the local officials to allow fish dealers and traders to have access in going in and out of the fish landing centers in the region.

In Cebu, the two known fish landing centers are in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City and in Danao City, Cebu.

BFAR-7 has been issuing food pass to suppliers and truckers to grant them privilege to get through checkpoints so that there will be unhampered movement of cargoes, fishery inputs, and among other food products.

Poquita has encouraged the local government units, through their Municipal Agriculture Office, to facilitate the transport of fish products from the landing centers to their fish markets to ensure availability of fish commodities in their area.

Poquita said local officials may also offer the fish products available in their markets as goods to be given to households.

Poquita added that setting up an accessible mini-fish market would also be a great move to assist marginal fishermen sell their fish catch.

The regional office is seeking help from the local government units after it has heard the sentiments of several fishermen and fish vendors.

During its regular price monitoring activities, many vendors have aired out their concern as fish trade reportedly slows down.

Since fishes are perishable, some vendors are forced to sell their products at low prices just so they can dispose them at good quality.

Some buyers from other provinces or towns could not travel or get through borders because of the restricted movement and banned sea trips.

The BFAR-commissioned enumerators also relayed the same concern – the local marginal fishers are also experiencing the same dilemma since fewer people are going out from their homes, or households rely on the goods they have stored.

Poquita further said that local government units can always initiate their own protocols or policies in a way that both could safeguard the wellbeing of the people and at the same time support the livelihood of local fishers that provide food in people’s table.  JMD (FREEMAN)

BFAR COVID-19 PANDEMIC
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