High price of sardines feared due to coal crisis PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 August 2017 14:06

The industrial group has warned about the possibility of an increase in the price of sardines if the reported shortage of coal required for production continues unresolved.

“Considering that it is now August and in four months, the sardines’ Closed Fishing Season will again start, the canneries will be hard pressed to produce and stock for these lean months,” said a statement contained in a letter sent to Zamboanga Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco- Salazar.

At present, canneries are stocking up their supply of sardines in preparation for closed fishing season to start December.

Closed fishing season starts every December and is lifted in March.  At present, canning companies are stocking up on their supply of sardines in preparation for the stoppage of their operations during this period.

Industrial Group Executive Director Roberto Valerio however said that if the coal shortage remains unresolved, canneries will not be able to operate and stock for next year, resulting to higher prices of sardines in the year 2018.

Two big canning companies in Zamboanga city  have  already stopped operating since Tuesday due to a shortage of a supply in coal coming from the province of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Around 2,000 workers employed by these two companies are said to have lost their income starting yesterday after the companies temporarily stopped operating.

The Industrial Group of Zamboanga has written the Zamboanga local government last week to ask for assistance in dealing with the problem last August 1.

Yesterday, City Hall came out with a press release (published today) providing the Mayor’s response to the crisis.

Zamboanga canning companies get their supply of coal from small miners and quarryers in Zamboanga Sibugay, a province said to be rich in coal deposits.

Recently, the Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Office required miners to get the requisite permits for their operation and the transfer of coal outside the province.

The strict enforcement of this measure was reportedly the reason for the shortage in the supply of coal to Zamboanga city and why canning companies are now facing a crisis in their operations.

Valerio said that majority of the canning companies are bound to stop operating in the following days due to a shortage of coal to fire up their boilers.

There are 11 canning companies in Zamboanga city employing at least 35,000 workers.

The sardine industry  is a major industry in Zamboanga city employing thousands of workers.  (Liza Jocson)