THE Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said it is possible that Philippines might be importing round scad fish or galunggong that actually comes from the Philippines' own waters.

This as the group claimed that the country is sourcing galunggong (round scad), mackerel, and other pelagic fish species from China and Vietnam, the countries that rampantly poach in Philippine waters.

“We are most likely importing ‘balikbayan’ (returnee) fish,” according to Pamalakaya.

“We are fully aware that the countries where we are going to import fish are the same countries that frequent our territorial waters in the West Philippine Sea. This is an insult to us as an archipelagic country as we might be importing fish that came from our very own fishing grounds,” said Bobby Roldan, Pamalakaya vice-chair for Luzon.

Roldan, a fisherman in Zambales, said that galunggong is mostly caught off the waters of the West Philippine Sea and other major open seas in the Philippines, such as Batangas, Mindoro, and Palawan provinces.

Pamalakaya dared the government to enforce fishing laws against illegal poachers in the Philippine waters and prevent any foreign fishing fleets from exploiting the country’s fishery and marine resources.

“Imbes na mga Pilipinong mangingisda ang nakikinabang sa ating yamang-dagat, talamak ang mga dayuhang barko sa ating karagatang tulad ng West Philippine Sea na silang umuubos ng ating isda. Malaking insulto na tayo pa ang bibili sa ibang bansa ng mga isdang galing mismo sa ating pangisdaan,” Roldan added.

The fishers’ group maintains its opposition against importation as it would be “harmful” to the local fishing industry and small fisherfolk due to price competition.