DTI appeals for public understanding over spike of fish prices in Dgte

By Roi Lomotan

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DTI Provincial Director Javier Fortunato Jr. (left) in a press conference together with BFAR Provincial Fishery Officer Florencia Mepaña and Dumaguete City Public Market Superintendent Engr. Ronnie Fortin on Jan. 8, 2018 at the DTI Office to discuss the issue on the spike on prices of fish sold at the city market.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Negros Oriental appealed for deeper understanding from the public in line with the occurring spike in the prices of fish sold at the city’s public market.

DTI Provincial Director Javier Fortunato Jr., together with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Provincial Fishery Officer Florencia Mepaña, and Dumaguete City Public Market Superintendent Engr. Ronnie Fortin recently met with some members of the media and representatives of the fish vendors’ association in a conference held at the DTI office to discuss the complaints of consumers raised in social media on the high price increase of fish in the city market.

A Facebook user lamented the skyrocketing of prices of local fish like tarugho which is sold at P800 per kilo, tugnos at P280 per kilo, bangus at P200 per kilo, malalangse at P100 per kilo, tamarong at P200 per kilo, and titina at P200 per kilo.

This prompted DTI to organize a conference so that agencies involved can present their sides on the issue.

During the conference, it was disclosed that the increase in prices is attributed to the low supply of fish versus the high demand of consumers.

Market Superintendent Engr. Ronnie Fortin supported the claim of shortage of supply as he cited that in December, the average ton of fish supply in the market recorded was 14 tons, which is 16 tons short of the average 20 to 30 tons of fish needed to meet the daily consumer demand in the market.

“This can be the reason for the price increase of marine products in the public market. There is really a shortage in supply. Hopefully, this is only seasonal,” Engr. Fortin said.

Dumaguete Public Market Fish Vendor’s Association Representative Judy Managat also disclosed in the same conference that right now there is no supply of fish in Negros Oriental particularly in Bayawan City where they usually get their supply of big fishes like tuna.

“Pagkakaron panahuna wala gyud gikan ug Bayawan. Ang among suki na taga-Bayawan mao nang nag-kompra niadto sa Antique, Bacolod. Didto sila nikompra ug tuna. Mao ilaang gihatod dire. Mao ang suplay (Right now, there is no fish sourced in Bayawan City. Our suppliers there would get fish from Antique or Bacolod then they bring it here. That is our supply),” Managat explained.

Fortunato added that factors such as the previous storms that affected the province, episodes of full moon, and the approaching cold season contributed to the short supply of fish.

BFAR Provincial Fishery Officer Florencia Mepaña said that during the colder months, the supply of fish is not abundant because it is not spawning much while some species like tuna migrate to temperate seas during this season.

Mepaña disclosed that BFAR conducts price monitoring but they do not have a part in regulating the price of fish sold in the market.

Fortunato also said that DTI does not regulate prices of fresh fish because they only cover manufactured or canned fish products.

He assured consumers that the department will still continue to monitor prices of fish in the local market.

With this, Director Fortunato appealed for deeper understanding from the public regarding the situation.

“We want people to understand that na menos gyud karon and number two; you have a choice. If you can afford it to buy it at that price, well and good but naa pod other alternatives. Karne na lang, sardinas, or bulad (We want people to understand that the supply is not enough and you have a choice. If you can afford to buy at that price, well and good, but there are other alternatives like meat, sardines, or dried fish),” Fortunato said.


Brewing soon in local cafes: Baslay coffee of Dauin

By Roi Lomotan

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Samples of Baslay coffee on display during the coffee brewing and tasting event. (PIA7-NegOr)


NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – The aroma of freshly brewed Baslay coffee will soon spread to the coffee shops in the capital city of Dumaguete or at resort cafés in the municipality of Dauin.

This after the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Negros Oriental hosted a coffee brewing and tasting event in Dumaguete City recently to encourage local resort and café owners to buy and support the locally grown coffee.

“The purpose of this is to invite local resorts in Dauin and coffee shops to carry this coffee,” DTI SME Senior Trade and Industry Specialist Maribel Sumanoy said.

During the activity, resort and coffee owners were given a free taste of Baslay Coffee which comes in two varieties: Arabica and Robusta.

Sumanoy shared that in the 2nd Coffee Conference held in Baguio City, DTI sent samples of Baslay coffee to be evaluated and it had a high cupping grade which is good for specialty coffee.

Baslay coffee was cultivated by the Baslay Farmers Association (BFA), a recipient of DTI’s Shared Service Facility (SSF) Project.

Last year, the DTI turned over units of dehaulers, depulpers, dehumidifiers, sorting tables to association and also sponsored trainings on coffee harvesting, dry method processing and understanding standards and grading system.

Sumanoy said that through these interventions, members will have a competitive edge and will be able to demand a better price when selling their coffee beans to the market.

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DTI-Negros Oriental Senior Trade and Industry Specialist Maribel Sumanoy stands beside a coffee maker that brews Baslay coffee. (PIA7-NegOr)

The coffee plantation is nestled near Mt. Talinis with an elevation of 800 meters above sea level up to 1,200 meters above sea level.

The development coffee plantation was a reforestation project of the Philippine National Oil Company (now Energy Development Corporation or EDC) to give livelihood assistance to former kaingineros in the area.

“Before 1984, we were all forest occupants. We were all forest destroyers of Baslay forests,” said BFA Adviser Ruel Perez.

Perez continued that sometime in 1984, they were organized into an informal group and in this process, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine National Oil Company started to realize that there is a prevailing problem with the community.

“Of course the destruction of the forest because we were practicing these destructive farming practices – we called it the maganas. You have to clear this forested area so you can plant corn and your first and second harvest will be adundant. Along the way, after 3 to 4 years, when there is a decline in harvest, you look for another area to deforest. That’s how we do it. It’s our way of life that is exhausting but there is no success,” Perez explained.

It was in 1986 when different government agencies and the New Zealand government gave the community a funding for agro-forestry project.

In 1988, the group was registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) making it a legitimate organization and in 1989 the BFA was launched with 135 founding members.

By 1992, the group was awarded a community forest stewardship agreement for 25 years and they were given the opportunity to manage and protect the forest of Baslay.

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BFA Adviser Ruel Perez delivering his message (PIA7-NegOr)
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Dauin Mayor Neil Credo delivers his message to Baslay coffee farmers. (PIA7-NegOr)

All those years, BFA was into coffee production and from being kaingineros, they eventually became coffee farmers and forest conservationists.

Perez said the group practices organic farming and they do not apply synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in their crops.

“Everything there, the animals, the birds they all contribute to the pollination that’s why our coffee has a very nice flavor coffee. Our coffee needs forest to grow and have a very nice flavor,” Perez said.

Sumanoy said BFA originally had a 70-hectare plantation and they had just had a 50-hectare expansion.

Perez disclosed they hope to cover a 300-hectare expansion in five years.

Meanwhile, Sumanoy disclosed that as of now, BFA has one buyer in based in Manila and that is the reason why DTI held the activity to help BFA introduce to the local market in Negros Oriental the Baslay Coffee.

“In Negros we don’t have a market yet. So we are introducing it. The trend today like in Bo’s Coffee is to carry in their coffee shops local coffee. They are carrying Mt. Apo, Benguet, and Kalinga Coffee. Now we are introducing themthat since you are in Dumaguete, you carry Baslay coffee,” Sumanoy said.


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DTI staff gives free taste of Baslay coffee to resort and cafe owners during the event. (PIA7-NegOr)

The DTI official added that they requested the farmer’s association to retain at least 20 percent of their produce for the consumption of local market here.


Sumanoy said that BFA was able to harvest 3,200 kilograms or 16,000 red cherries and then processed it to 3,200 green coffee beans last year.

He hopes that through this endeavor, local coffee shops and resorts will be encouraged to brew and serve local Baslay coffee. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)

Cebuano News: DTI mopalambo sa produksyon sa kawayan sa NegOr

By Leandria Pagunsan

DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA)—Ubos sa programang Shared Service Facility (SSF) sa Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) mopalambo kini sa produksyon sa kawayan pinaagi sa paghatag ug bamboo processing equipment ngadto sa mga industry association, non-government organizations (NGOs) ug sa local government units (LGUs).

Si DTI Provincial Director Javier Fortunato Jr.,namahayag nga gitakda karong umalabot Enero 27 ang turn-over sa mga bamboo processing equipment alang sa lungsod sa Amlan, Siaton, Manjuyod ug dakbayan sa Bayawan pagpalambo sa ilang bamboo projects.

Nasayran nga ang dakbayan sa Bayawan naghimo ug bamboo bike ug ang lungsod sa Manjuyod nagpasiugda ug sawali nga himo sa kawayan. Gitun-an usab ang paghimo ug bamboo tile apan matud ni Fortunato nga mahal ang maknarya niini.

Pinaagi sa ayuda sa DTI mapalambo ang ang de kalidad ug ligon nga bamboo bike sa Bayawan City aron mabaligya dili lamang dinhi sa nasud lakip na sa na gawas sa Pilipinas matud ni Fortunato.

Hinoon nipasalig ang DTI isip “trade industry” nga tun-an mga bag-ong produkto dili lamang mga sala set nga gama sa kawayan aron makita ug ma baligya kini sa himoong trade fair pagkatapos sa tuig ug aron matabangang molambo ang panginabuhi sa mga katawhan dinhi sa probinsya nga nag tanom ug mga kawayan.

Gawas sa pagpalambo sa produksyon sa kawayan giawhag usab ang mag-uuma sa Bayawan nga nagtanom ug goma (rubber plantation) nga makaduso sa ilang produkto nga hinimo sa goma.

Mahinumduman nga ang Bayawan City nagsugod ug harvest sa tanon nga goma pito (7) ka tuig na ang nakalabay gani mi uswag na ngadto sa lungsod sa Sta. Catalina ug Ayungon ang mga katawhan nga nagtanom ug goma.

Gawas nga daghang produkto ang mahimo sa goma makaayo usab kini pagpahi-uli sa kinaiyahan tungod kay ang mga punoan sa rubber tree kon goma modagko man matud ni Fortunato. (lpp/PIA7/Negros Oriental/This article was  first published at PIA website on January 5, 2017)