(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) said Tuesday night that it has approved the importation of 25,000 metric tons (MT) of frozen fish commodities to suffice local supply.

The BFAR said the approval of last week's importation was made under the guidelines of Special Order 1002, which will be done amid the closed fishing season.

In a statement, the BFAR insisted the move was data-driven and necessary to ensure adequate supply in wet markets.

“To ensure the continuous sufficient supply of fishery commodities for Filipino consumers and to stabilize market prices, the Certificate of Necessity to Import (CNI) 25,000 MT of the specified fish commodities was issued,” the BFAR said.

Included in the frozen commodities to be imported are frozen round scad, bigeye scad, mackerel, bonito, and moonfish, where 80 percent shall be allocated to the commercial sector while the fishing cooperatives will get the remaining 20 percent.

The recommended volume was subjected to the demand and supply analyses of DA-BFAR and the Private Sector Advisory Council.

It also vowed to implement strict guidelines to ensure the safety of consumers.

“The DA-BFAR assures the consuming public that the importation and unloading activities will adhere to a stringent set of guidelines and will be strictly monitored by the BFAR and Philippine Fisheries Development Authority to ensure that the fish commodities that will enter the Philippine markets are safe for human consumption,” the BFAR added.

The closed fishing season in the country is effective starting Nov. 1 and shall be observed until the end of January 2023. (PNA)