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New Bohol Fish Market an overwhelming success: Piñol

New Bohol Fish Market an overwhelming success: Piñol

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has called the newly launched Bohol Fish Market in Tagbilaran City “an overwhelming success” and said he is considering replicating it in various parts of the country.

“The successful staging of the Bohol Fish Market will serve as a template for similar activities in other areas to bring down the prices of food,” Piñol said on his Facebook page on Friday.

He added that the Bohol Fish Market would later be developed into a tourism destination, as eateries will be opened in the area, where fish bought in the market could be cooked and served.

The Bohol Fish Market is the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) first provincial-level TienDA project through its Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol will lead the launching of the Bohol Fish Market and TienDA on August 16 to 17 at the Bohol Agricultural Promotion Center in Barangay Dao, Tagbilaran City barely a month after he promised to be back here to make true his promise “to flood Bohol with fish.” (File Photo PIA)

It was the department’s first major step to address the fast-rising commodity prices, particularly in Bohol.

“It is the response of the DA to the complaints of local residents over very high prices of fish in the public market,” Piñol said.

DA validation showed several business groups control fish trading in Bohol, taking advantage of rising tourism in the province. Piñol noted that these traders were selling fish at “tourist prices.”

TienDA is a marketing strategy launched by the DA in Metro Manila last year to help promote the availability of affordable food nationwide by providing venues, where farmers and fishers can directly sell to consumers.

The DA then staged TienDA in Barangay Payatas, an urban poor community in Quezon City, so residents there could access lower-priced food directly from farmers and fishers.

Piñol said Boholanos “swarmed” to the Bohol Fish Market as early as 4 a.m. on Thursday, the opening day, to buy fresh fish at low prices.

He said more than seven tons of fish from Zamboanga, the Caraga region, Samar, Misamis Oriental, and Iloilo were sold out by noontime.

Set for sale the following day were another seven tons of fish from Eastern Visayas and Northern Mindanao, as well as locally-produced fish, he said.

Piñol said local markets in Bohol sell galunggong and matambaka fish at about PHP220 per kg. and PHP280 per kg., respectively.

However, at the Bohol Fish Market, galunggong costs only PHP110 per kg. and matambaka, PHP158 per kg.

Piñol said the Bohol Fish Market will be open every Saturday and Sunday starting next week in the same location until the outlet gets a permanent spot.

Earlier, Piñol identified fishers and their families, as well as organized fish vendors, as the outlet’s operators.

“The group that will operate the Bohol Fish Market will be provided with an initial capitalization of PHP5 million by DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council,” he said.

He added that such financial assistance will be through the DA’s Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) facility for small farmers and fisherfolk.

PLEA is a special credit program offering non-collateralized loans for agri-fishery production. (PNA)

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