Senator Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson, chairman of the Senate National Defense and Security committee, on Thursday, Dec. 2 scored the implications of China’s continued bullying in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) on our food security, such that the Philippines has to import galunggong from China, with much of the fish likely taken from our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) there.
Aside from national security, China’s continued presence at the WPS has food security concerns. And this hits much closer to home),” Lacson, a presidential aspirant, said at the weekly LACSON-SOTTO media forum.
He said that the aggression by China has denied Filipino fishermen the ability to fish “in our own waters.”
Citing figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Lacson said the WPS could yield 300,000 metric tons or 300 million kilos of fish in one year.
With one Filipino family consuming 40 kilos of fish in one year, Lacson said up to 7.5 million Filipino families might have been denied their fish meals in one year.
At a virtual Kapihan with members of the shipping industry also on Thursday, Lacson said he found it revolting that the Philippines has to import galunggong from China.
”I could not imagine for the life of me that we will import galunggong from China. It is revolting that the galunggong are imported from China,” he said.
“It’s a P33-billion-a-year livelihood for our fishermen. Because of the incursions of Chinese vessels, we are denied 300,000 metric tons of fish… If you divide 30 million kilos of fish by 40 kilos, that would translate to 7.5 million Filipino families bumibili from other sources na isda (who have to buy fish from sources other than the Philippines). That’s unacceptable,” he added.
Late last November, Lacson filed Senate Resolution 954 condemning the continued presence and hostile acts of Chinese vessels in the WPS.
This is in support of Senate Bill 2289 co-authored by Lacson and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, which defines the Philippines’ maritime areas.