The government will not allow spoiled fish products to enter the country, following a warning from the Department of Health (DOH) that "galunggong" or "GG" (round scad), imported from China, may be contaminated with formalin.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday that he believed the DOH and the Department of Agriculture (DA) might have heard the accusations made by the militant fishermen's group Pamalakaya on the formaline-covered galunggong.
There are phytosanitary measures that the government can use to ensure that fish products are safe, he said.
"I do not think the government will allow access to these contaminated fish products," Roque told reporters.
The country can import galunggong when the fishing season closes every year to stabilize the prices and supply of the fish species on the market, said agricultural secretary Emmanuel Piñol on Thursday.
The DA has allowed the import of 17,000 tons of galunggong this year. The fish will arrive from next month.
"I see nothing wrong with import as long as we do not overtake our fishermen," he said. -KARL R. OCAMPO AND CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO
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