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Department of Agriculture sees spike in fish,vegetables prices this Lent

MANILA, Philippines — A spike in the retail prices of fish and vegetables is expected during the Holy Week, Agriculture Assistant Secretary Arnel de Mesa said yesterday, even as he assured consumers that there will be enough supply of food commodities.

During the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing, De Mesa said many Filipinos prefer not to eat meat during Lent, causing movement in the cost of fish and vegetables.

“With the commemoration of the Holy Week, it is natural that the retail prices of vegetables and fish go up, especially fish, because many of us observe fasting,” De Mesa said.

The official said the DA expects an increase in the retail price of fish between 10 and 20 percent.

De Mesa gave assurance that there is ample supply of fish with the end of the closed fishing season.

“The supply of fish has increased after the closed fishing season,” he added.

At the same time, De Mesa said that the production of vegetables also increased.

“We have a good harvest of vegetables, especially lowland vegetables, like pinakbet as well as highland vegetables from Benguet and other highland areas,” he said.

Based on monitoring of the DA in Metro Manila markets, the retail price of milkfish ranged between P150 and P220 per kilo; tilapia, between P120 and P160 per kilo; local and imported round scad, between P180 and P200 per kilo and Indian mackerel, between P280 and P350 per kilo.