Dagupan ‘bangus’ price up due to ‘habagat’

DAGUPAN CITY — The price of Dagupan milkfish (bangus) here have increased from PHP100 last week to PHP135-PHP140 due to the rains brought by the southwest monsoon (habagat).

City Agriculturist Emma Molina, in an interview Wednesday, said the increase is not due to shortage of bangus despite the fish kill, locally known as gataw, last week.

The fish kill was the result of thermal shock, wherein the fishes were not able to adjust with the sudden change in water temperature due to downpour – leading to their death, she said.

“’Yung pagkamatay ng ilang bangus dahil sa gataw, hindi po makakaapekto sa atin ‘yon (The fish kill which is of minimal number will not affect the supply of milkfish),” Molina said.

The price increase, however, is attributed to the rain’s effects on the bangus that is slowing their growth, she said.

“While it takes four to five months for a bangus to grow from a fingerling to its adult size, the rains make it slower for the fish to grow. With the rainy season, bangus may take up to less than seven months to fully develop,” she said.

“Apektado yung mga bangus growers kasi dagdag na panahon ang gugugulin para lumaki ‘yung mga bangus natin (Bangus growers are affected as they will give more time for the milkfishes to grow),” Molina added.

Meanwhile, due to the same cause, the prices of Baguio vegetables also increased.

Eggplants and okra, which cost PHP40 per kilogram last week, have now doubled in price; while broccoli now costs PHP200 – a far cry from its original PHP80 price.  Ahikam Pasion / PNA – northboundasia.com