Producers urge DTI to reconsider price cut for sardines

Posted at 07/17/12 5:20 PM

ZAMBOANGA CITY - A group of fishing companies asked the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to reconsider its decision to lower the suggested retail price (SRP) of sardines.

From the current P13.50/can, the DTI said it will implement an SRP of P12.80/can beginning August 1.

Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association Inc. (SOPHIL) executive vice president Roberto Baylosis said since the fishing ban on tamban (Sardinella Species) was lifted, they have not been able to get enough fish that are good enough for their production requirements.

Baylosis attributed this to inclement weather conditions and expensive production costs, particularly high fuel prices.

Eugene Yap, former president of SOPHIL, said even if they catch the required quantity for sardine production, there will not be enough time to store the supply in their blast freezers.

Baylosis said he is talking with the DTI to discuss the SRP of sardines.

He noted that based on the selling price to sardine companies, a kilo of tamban costs P27, which is higher than the P22 per kilo that DTI based the SRP on. Sardine manufacturers get their supply from fishing vessels, not from the wet markets since it does not pass their quality standards.

Baylosis warned that if the DTI insists on lowering the price of sardines, the canning factories will be forced to pay lower fees to the fishing vessels.

DTI Zamboanga City said they will make a decision after the dialogue with the fishing and sardine companies.  - Report from Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga