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Bacolod City, PhilippinesMonday, March 5, 2012
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Solon calls for investigation
on safety of imported fishes

A lawmaker is seeking a congressional investigation to determine whether the imported frozen galunggong, tulingan and hasa-hasa sold in wet markets are safe for human consumption, a press release from Congress said.

Rep. Angelo Palmones (Party-list, AGHAM) filed House Resolution 2115 directing the House Committee on Agriculture and Food to conduct the probe to ensure the safety of the consuming public.

Palmones cited news reports that about 800,000 metric tons of imported fish entered the country in 2011 intended for the institutional buyers such as big restaurants, manufacturers and canneries and plants that process seafood.

"However, some fish like galunggong, 'tulingan' (frigate tuna or auxis thazard), and 'hasa-hasa' (short-bodied mackerel) end up in the wet markets too, as admitted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic resources claiming leakage on the part of the importers," Palmones said.

He said Section 10 (d) of Fisheries Administrative Order 195 (s1999) states that "chilled fresh fish and fisheries products shall be stored and maintained at 0 to 4 degrees centigrade" regulates storage and transport of imported frozen fish and fisheries products. Most stalls in the wet markets do not have the facility to store imported frozen fish, Palmones said.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala recently said the Philippines would have to formally open its market to fish from abroad, since commercial and municipal fish catch declined due to overfishing, illegal fishing, as well as due to rough seas and strong winds during the second semester caused by several typhoons.*


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