Senator Grace Poe on Friday, December 2 asked the Department of Agriculture (DA) to lift its ban on the sale of imported salmon and pompano while it is studying whether it would lift it or not.
Poe said she does not see any compelling safety reason to implement the DA Administrative Order 259 issued in 1999.
‘’Consumers are clamoring for the ban to be lifted. It’s cruel to drastically implement an administrative order that will adversely affect the public, especially, when families are looking for affordable ways to celebrate the holidays,’’ she explained.
‘’Kung ang galunggong at tilapia na dapat marami sa ating mga karagatan, di pa rin sapat, kaya inaangkat ito, masasabi ba ng BFAR na malulugi ang mga mangingisda natin pag nag angkat tayo ng Pink Salmon na wala naman dito. Sino ang pinoprotektahan ng BFAR? (If our galunggong and tilapia that should be many in our seas are not enough, can the BFAR (Bureau of Fish and Aquatic Resources) say that our fishermen would lose if we import pink salmon that are not in our seas?),’’ she asked.
This week, senators led by Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda during a plenary session smelled something fishy with the sudden interest of BFAR to implement the 23-year-old order banning the sale of some imported fish in wet markets and supermarkets.
AO 259 only allows big companies, hotels, and restaurants to sell salmon and pompano supposedly to help local fishermen to sell their products to the market.
Vendors were threatened their salmon and pompano would be confiscated if they try to sell beyond December 3.