Marcos seeks Indonesia's help in fishery, says galunggong importation unacceptable

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has disclosed that he has sought Indonesia’s assistance in boosting the Philippines' fishery industry as he lamented the unacceptable practice of importing galunggong.

Marcos said the nagging issue of importing round scad or galunggong — also dubbed as "poor man's fish" — was discussed during his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday, the second day of his state visit.

"Nagpatulong ako sa fisheries kasi obsessed ako dito sa Pilipinas nag-i-import ng galunggong. Di ko talaga matanggap iyan. So I asked for help kasi matibay ang fisheries nila," he said on Tuesday in Indonesia.

[Translation: I asked for help for the fisheries sector because I am obsessed with the Philippines importing galunggong. I cannot accept that, so I asked for help because they have strong fisheries management.]

The Department of Agriculture in January approved the importation of 60,000 metric tons of frozen galunggong for wet markets following the damage caused by Typhoon Odette on the fisheries sector.

The chief executive said he and Widodo agreed to exchange delegations to discuss the issue.

He added that Indonesia's assistance to agriculture and fisheries will happen in the "very short term."

Marcos noted his first state visit was more productive than he expected since he only spent a day and a half in Indonesia before flying out to Singapore.

The two presidents witnessed the signing of four key agreements between the Philippines and Indonesia on defense and security cooperation, cultural cooperation, and creative economy, as well as a plan of action for bilateral cooperation from 2022 to 2027.