Food security advocacy group Tugon Kabuhayan asked the government to include fish products in the distribution of food relief during the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby areas.

This is to help fishermen have a sure market during the ECQ, as well as give consumers enough protein during this difficult time.

Asis Perez, convenor of Tugon Kabuhayan, said the demand for fish products coming from restaurants has not yet picked up since last year when lockdown restrictions were first imposed.

Thus, fishermen are now relying mostly on the demand coming from retail customers or those who buy directly for their own consumption.

“Some restaurants no longer offer fish, to be honest. In main fast-food chains, they don’t have fish,” Perez said. “And any decrease in consumption will affect producers”.

He then said that for a change, local government units (LGUs) must also consider distributing fresh or frozen fish, instead of canned sardines and tuna, to their constituents.

Right now, the so-called National Capital Region (NCR) Plus, covering areas of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cabite, Laguna, and Rizal, are on ECQ from March 29 to April 4 amid the rising COVID-19 cases.  

From March 16 to 23, the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) observed the highest weekly fish unloading in some of the country’s major ports.
During this period, PFDA recorded the unloading of 5,533.76 metric tons (MT) of fish supply for consumers in NCR and several areas in Central and South Luzon.

This record is by far the highest weekly unloading supply of Navotas Fish Port Complex (NFPC) since January 2021, said PFDA.

The volume of fish unloaded per sector was as follows: aquaculture (755.24 MT), marine (3,912.44 MT), and frozen (866.08 MT).

Galunggong, bangus, tilapia, tulingan, and tamban remain as the top five fish species with the highest availability of supply.

“PFDA-NFPC will continue to work night and day to make sure there is a sufficient supply of fish for all until the lifting of the community quarantine in NCR on April 4, and beyond,” PFDA said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (